It means the Blues’ rebel striker is now under more pressure than ever to return to England and resolve the stand-off that is overshadowing the start to the season.

The two clubs are keen to do a deal, even though they are miles apart on their valuations.

Chelsea are asking for £50million, but Atletico are only ready to pay half that.

The Spaniard has been AWOL for five weeks after a text row with boss Antonio Conte.

And there has been little sign of a breakthrough in the whole tit-for-tat row.

Costa, 29, has said he only wants to play for his former club in Spain now he has no future with the Premier League champions.

But the summer-long saga is in limbo while the player refuses to bow to Chelsea’s demands to come back to England and resume training.