The saga of Chelsea striker Diego Costa’s future appears to be drawing to a close, as the player’s lawyer has confirmed that the 28-year-old will submit a formal transfer request to push through a move away from Stamford Bridge. Costa’s future at Chelsea has long been understood as over, with it being a matter of when – rather than if – the fiery forward would leave.

Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, via Sky Sports, Costa’s lawyer Ricardo Cardoso has confirmed that Chelsea’s anti-hero has handed in his transfer request, to speed up a much drawn-out exit from Stamford Bridge. Addressing Costa’s decision, Cardoso claimed:

We are going to use all legal mechanisms to hold Chelsea accountable for this behaviour, making it possible for Diego Costa to leave.”

It is thought that while big-spending AC Milan have emerged as recent candidates to sign the controversial striker, Atlético Madrid remain in pole position to re-sign Costa. The Spanish side are currently serving a transfer ban that will not be lifted until January, but Costa is believed to be content to wait until then to play professional football again.

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Costa has been a controversial figure at Stamford Bridge since his arrival at the club in 2014. 

While boasting an impressive scoring record of 52 goals in 89 league games for the Blues, his tendency to explode in fits of rage from the slightest of provocations led the 28-year-old to be rather unpopular among the fans of opposition teams.