In what seem like a twist to his Chelsea future, Diego Costa wants Chelsea to sign Romelu Lukaku as his replacement this summer.
The Spain striker was unhappy a move to the Chinese Super League was blocked in January and is now keen on returning to Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte is seeking to reinforce his Premier League-winning squad for an assault on the Champions League but refused to say Costa will stay after the FA Cup final defeat.
Former Blues forward Lukaku is among the Italian’s targets – and Chelsea could finance the deal by cashing in on the Brazil-born forward
Asked if the champions should sign Lukaku, Costa said: “I do not know – that’s a decision for the club. Of course Lukaku is a very big player who played an impressive season. I hope he can sign at Chelsea because it’s a unique club.”
With Alexis Sanchez also on Conte’s wishlist, Michy Batshuayi is among the Chelsea players who could be shipped out.
But Costa added: “He is a big player and has an impressive future for himself. The past matches have proven that he has quality and scoring ability.
“He is a boy who will take great steps. Hopefully he will continue to grow – he has all the qualities to stay here. Batshuayi may stay because he’s young and I could be leaving.”
Costa joined Chelsea for £32million in 2014. Former Atletico player and current assistant coach Juan Vizcaino said: “The doors are open here for Diego Costa.”
Also on the agenda this summer for Chelsea is getting Eden Hazard to sign a contract extension.
The Chelsea Player of the Year – who was voted ahead of N’Golo Kante- said he is ready to talk after the international matches but joked: “If I sign a new contract, there may not be enough money left to get Romelu!”
Hazard was recognised at the Chelsea awards night where former manager Claudio Ranieri made a special presentation to John Terry – and Frank Lampard praised the departing captain as the best in Premier League history.
“He leaves the legacy of being the most successful captain in our history, and the most successful captain in Premier League history taking over Roy Keane,” said the former England midfielder.
‘What he’s done off the pitch, involving himself with the fans and with the academy. Those are legacies that match his performances on the pitch.”
Terry said: “Chelsea’s my life and it has been for 22 years and it’ll never go away. The fans mean everything to me, the memories will live with me forever. I couldn’t be here without you and I thank you from my heart.
“I hope to be back here in the future. The club have made it clear that the door is always open. I’m going to go away for a week and will decide my future, whether that’s playing or finishing.”