Diego Costa pictured meeting super agent Jorge Mendes at exclusive Knightsbridge restaurant as Chelsea striker is linked with summer exit from Stamford Bridge

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DINNER PLANS

Striker almost left for Atletico Madrid last summer and has been linked with the Chinese Super League

DIEGO COSTA has been spotted meeting with super agent Jorge Mendes and a group of businessmen at an exclusive Knightsbridge restaurant.

The Chelsea striker almost left the Blues for Atletico Madrid last summer and has long been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League.

Chelsea striker and super agent Jorge Mendes were seen meeting at an exclusive Knightsbridge restaurant

Costa has been linked with a summer exit from Chelsea

Costa has been linked with a summer exit from Chelsea

The Blues striker has been strongly linked with a move to China - where he could triple his wages

The Blues striker has been strongly linked with a move to China – where he could triple his wages

In exclusive pictures obtained by SunSport, Costa was snapped at Italian eatery Signor Sassi sitting alongside Mendes, who also represents Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, and a group of suited men.


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A fellow diner told SunSport: “I would say there were about 10 people at the table, four Asian men on one side and then Jorge Mendes on the other with his people and then Diego at the end.

“They were all drinking large magnum bottles of red wine, including Diego, and were eating lobster pasta.

“There were lots of toasts being made and then they had pictures with Diego.

“We left the restaurant around 10pm and they were still there enjoying their dinner.”

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were both left on the bench for Chelseas FA Cup semi final but found the target against Southampton

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Costa has been in fine form for title-chasing Chelsea with 20 goals this season

Diego Costa and Antonio Conte fell out in January as a move to China looked certain

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Diego Costa and Antonio Conte had a major falling out in January after a training ground bust-up

It is not known what was the purpose of the dinner or whether it was connected with any possible future move by Costa.

There is no suggestion that Costa or anyone else involved was breaching football rules or behaving improperly.

The Spanish striker, 28, is Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 20 goals but has never seemingly settled into life in London.

Only last week Shu Yuhui, the billionaire owner of Tianjin Quanjian told Chinese media that the club “are still working on a deal to sign Costa.”

Tianjin have previously offered to TRIPLE Costa’s wages, while Chelsea could net around £80million in transfer fees.

Diego Costa believes he is unfairly singled out by refs

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Costa also admitted he wanted to leave the Premier League because of unfair treatment from referees

Three other Chinese clubs, Guangzhou Evergrande, Hebei China Fortune and Jiangsu Suning are also believed to be interested in the striker.

Some reports claim that Costa will become football’s top earner if he decides on a move to China.

During the last international break in March, Costa sparked more exit rumours after he told Spanish media that he cannot “rule out anything” when asked whether he might fancy a move.

“Anything can happen. Why not? You never know,” he said.

“Now I’m happy at Chelsea but if tomorrow the Chinese come and Chelsea tell me I have to go, I will no longer want to stay with them.

“I can go to China or another side.”

The 28-year-old also failed to rule out a move to Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain or Marseille.

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian-born forward Diego da Silva Costa (L) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Atletico Madrid's Spanish midfielder Koke during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on April 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Diego Costa was an Atletico hero before moving to Chelsea in 2014

Costa joined Chelsea in summer 2014 and has scored 57 goals in 115 matches for the Blues but has often run into trouble with authorities.

He admitted that he wanted a return to Atletico Madrid last summer because of the unfair treatment he felt he got from refs – but when the deal fell through he had to “go to [Antonio] Conte with my tail between my legs.”

He said: “I wanted to leave this season because of this, at the beginning of the season I was looking for a way back to Madrid at Atletico because I felt like here they didn’t let me play.

“For the smallest thing they ban me for three matches.

“I was nervous on the pitch because I was worried that I could be punished at any given moment.”

Diego Costa could also be heading out of Stamford Bridge this summer

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Diego Costa has not settled into life in London

He was also involved in a huge training ground bust-up with Antonio Conte in January after fears that an offer from China had turned his head.

Conte ordered Costa to train alone for three days and also dropped him for the game against Leicester City.

Player and coach have since made up but Costa’s seeming willingness to leave Stamford Bridge has never appeared to be far from the surface.

Both Chelsea and Jorge Mendes were invited to comment but declined.

Player of the week : Chelsea man Diego Costa takes the title for this week



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