DIEGO COSTA was set for a surprise Premier League return.Diego Costa’s shock transfer to Wolves is at risk of falling through after the former Chelsea striker had his work permit application rejected on Tuesday morning, according to reports. Wolves had lined up the 33-year-old as a replacement for big-money summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic, who has been ruled out with a long-term injury.
Costa was due to fly into the UK on Tuesday night to complete a medical on Wednesday morning, but was informed that his application for a work permit had been rejected by the Home Office. He did not score enough points to be allowed the right to work in the country.
Wolves are set to appeal the decision and are in a desperate scramble to find a new striker. £15million purchase Kalajdzic was withdrawn at half-time in Wolves’ 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, with the Austrian now set to undergo surgery on an ACL tear.
The injury is likely to keep the 25-year-old on the sidelines for most of the 2022-23 campaign. Costa will still undergo his medical on Wednesday in case the Premier League club’s appeal is upheld. A hearing is due to take place at the same time.
That is according to The Athletic, who report that Costa’s return to England is now in serious doubt. The Spain international, who has also turned out for Brazil, has been a free agent since leaving Atletico Mineiro. Costa was a fans’ favourite at Chelsea in a spell between 2014 and 2017.
He scored 59 goals in 120 appearances for the West Londoners, winning the Premier League and the FA Cup among several other honours. But the feisty forward’s lack of recent international appearances might have denied him what is known as a governing body endorsement – a document sent by the Football Association to the government to inform that a player has scored enough points to be allowed a work permit. Individuals must score 15 points based on performance-related categories.
International appearances can be crucial in ensuring a player scores 15 points. However, Costa has not played for Spain in over four years. It comes after Fulham were denied the opportunity to sign winger Justin Kluivert from Roma.
The son of former Barcelona striker Patrick had his work permit application rejected last week, ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Wolves still hope they can sign Costa, especially with a lack of centre forwards available. Raul Jimenez and Hwang Hee-Chan have both struggled for form in recent times. Lage’s side face a tricky trip to Liverpool on Saturday.