Diego Costa has told Atletico Madrid to make a big push to sign him but says Chelsea are demanding a fee that the Spaniards “can’t get near”.
The Blues striker is still at home in Brazil having been informed by Antonio Conte via text message earlier in the summer that he does not feature in the club’s plans for the season.
Chelsea have told Costa to return to London while all parties seek a resolution, but the Spain forward says the champions have shown “a lack of respect” by suggesting he should train with the reserves.
Costa is holding out for a return move to Atletico, who sold the 26-year-old to Chelsea for £32million in 2014, but the hit-man is concerned that the two clubs are not close to reaching an agreement.
“I’ve demonstrated I care for Atletico and have interest in playing for them,” he told ESPN Brasil. “But if Atletico and Chelsea don’t come to an agreement and Atletico don’t make a big effort, I can’t keep on wanting to play for a club that isn’t going to make a bigger effort to try and sign me.
“I know that this will happen, but if it’s to pay the amount that Chelsea want it won’t be possible.
“What I know is that this offer Chelsea will get is bigger than what they paid, so I’ve given them something back in all senses.”
When asked to specify how much Chelsea wanted from Atletico, Costa said: “I don’t know, but my agent said that Chelsea want something that Atletico can’t get near.
“When we heard that Conte didn’t want me anymore, my agent went to find out if there was interest from Atletico for me coming back. Of course for the warmth and respect that I earned there, they showed interest. But they wouldn’t pay a fortune.
“Atletico is a team growing every year, a big team, but they can’t pay an extraordinary amount.”
Costa will dig his heels in to get the move he wants, and insists he will not sign for anyone just because Chelsea stand to make a bigger profit.
“Chelsea have offered me to several clubs, but I was very clear with them,” he said. “I said that if I’m not part of the manager’s plans, I would like to choose my destination. I’m not going to let them decide just to get more money.
“When I came to Chelsea they paid a lot less compared to what’s being offered to them. I think they should take into account everything that I’ve done. It’s not my fault that I’m not at the club. If it was down to me I’d be playing. It’s already been one month. Holidays are good but it gets tiresome.
“I didn’t provoke the situation, but now that it’s come to this the club has to think in two ways. Of course they need to get something back [in a sporting sense], like I gave them on the pitch, but financial as well. After three years they will receive a fee higher than what they paid.”
Chelsea are expecting Costa to return to London to prove his fitness and make himself available for selection. But the forward says he has been given no indication that there is any hope of him playing in the first-team again.
“I’ll be honest, I have my agent and none of that has reached me,” he added. “People at the club called me before to give me extra holidays to not have contact with the manager.
“I was always meant to turn up with the group, but they were already saying that I’m going to have to come back and train with the reserves. I said that this was a lack of respect. We won the league and I haven’t done anything so serious to deserve being treated in that way.
“It won’t be the same as before, and we don’t know if the fight for the position will be fair. Because of me having exposed the text message I understand that he’ll be annoyed, so if I go back I have to see if things would be clean, just and correct.
“That’s how I like things. If I go back now I don’t think it will be a fair situation. It won’t be an honest fight for a position.”