Chelsea have reportedly hit a roadblock in pursuit of Romelu Lukaku with Spain striker Diego Costa delaying his summer exit from Stamford Bridge

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Diego Costa is holding up Chelsea’s bid to sign Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window. The Spain striker is adamant that he will only move to Atletico Madrid, having turned down a chance to make his way to the Chinese Super League instead.

The Blues have been hot in pursuit of Everton striker Lukaku, while also trying to offload Costa this summer with the Spaniard no more a part of Antonio Conte’s plans for the forthcoming season.

The former Chelsea striker has gone from strength to strength since switching to Goodison Park in 2013. In fact, Lukaku has evolved into one of the most fearsome strike forces in the Premier League over the last few seasons, standing toe-to-toe with the most prolific players in England.

The recently concluded season was by far the most productive one in the player’s career as he struck 25 goals in the Premier League – second only behind Harry Kane in the race to win the Golden Boot. Such a stellar campaign has also borne fruits, with Lukaku attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

The Belgium international, however, has been inching closer to a move back to Chelsea this summer, where he is set to replace another highly prolific striker – Diego Costa. The Spain striker played a pivotal role for the Blues as they reclaimed the Premier League title in a comfortable manner, turning in several match-winning performances.

However, during the second half of the season, reports of Costa growing unsettled at the West London started doing the rounds. And last month things came to a head when he announced that his time at Chelsea was up after Conte let him know that he was surplus to requirements.

So while Lukaku is set to replace Costa at Stamford Bridge, the move largely hinges on Chelsea’s ability to offload the Spain international. Costa, though, is playing hardball ahead of his summer exit, insisting that he will only leave on his own terms, rejecting a move to China, with Atletico Madrid his only favoured destination.

The complication, however, arises from the fact that Atletico are currently serving a transfer ban and will only be able to register players in the winter transfer window. Thus, a roadblock seems to have been hit and it now remains to be seen if Costa can be persuaded to leave Chelsea soon so that the Blues are finally able to land Lukaku.