WRITER: Kevin Dane Birch <- Follow him on Twitter
The farce of Diego Costa & Chelsea Football Club has been in the headlines for the past couple of months. Costa revealed at the end of last season, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte sent him a text message saying that “you are not in my plans” and has been AWOL ever since.
Earlier this week, Chelsea included Costa in their Premier League squad much to the surprise of many fans, both those that want him back at Stamford Bridge and those that feels it’s better to leave the club if he has no desire to play for the club. The reasoning behind his inclusion in Chelsea’s Premier League squad was solely a legality, meaning Chelsea were just fulfilling contractual obligations.
Today, Chelsea’s 25-man squad for the upcoming UEFA Champions League 2017/18 campaign was released but Diego Costa wasn’t included. Here are the most logical scenarios to take into consideration and the reason why.
If Diego Costa manages to complete a transfer to Atletico Madrid in January and they also made it into the knock out rounds of the Champions League, Atletico would be able to field Costa in the competition because he wasn’t included in Chelsea’s squad, thus he isn’t cup-tied.
If Costa plays any domestic cup games for Chelsea (highly unlikely), and he secures a move to Goddison Park with Everton, as some reports suggests, he can only play league games because he is cup-tied, but he would still be able to play in the Europa League for Everton.
Chelsea could have registered Costa in their 25-man team for Europe, and sold him to a team in the Europa League in January, i.e. Everton, but if Chelsea doesn’t make it out of the group stages of the Champions League, meaning they would be moved into the Europa League. With Everton being in the same competition, the Toffees won’t be able to play Costa in any of their games in Europe.
Chelsea’s decision to omit Costa from their Champions League squad all but confirms that he will be transferred to a club that is in said competition in January, with Atletico being the most likely.
Kevin Dane Birch: @kdb_stylin