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Conte doesn't want me at Chelsea: Costa

15 Juin 2017

Wednesday's back pages began traditional mithering over the impact of the upcoming World Cup on Premier League fixtures, with next season's clashes set to be revealed on the same day. "I have to think about my future".

One possible solution that has been mooted in the Spanish press is for Atletico to buy Costa this summer and then loan him to the Chinese Super League until they can incorporate new signings in January 2018.

"Signing for Atletico doesn't mean that I wouldn't be playing".

Manchester United and Arsenal are also both on the hunt for a top hitman.

The forward has been told he is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and is looking for a new club.

Diego Costa's recent admission that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte no longer wants him at the club caused a stir.

For Costa, he didn't mince his words when asked about Conte's decision to let him know via a text that his future did not belong at Chelsea.

The 28-year-old was outstanding for Chelsea last season, scoring 20 goals and producing eight assists and helping the Blues to the Premier League title.

Conte texts players wishing them a good holiday and telling them to stay fit.

"Thanks to God I'm not lacking teams (to join)".

A return to Atletico Madrid has been Costa's dream move for quite a while. He was reportedly the subject of a huge bid in January which left him unsettled and temporarily dropped from the Chelsea starting XI. How awkward? Well, take a look at Conte's face in this Chelsea video as he's presented with a commemorative magazine and he flips to the page with Costa on it. The Napoli winger has been linked with the Blues earlier in the season and apparently he could be Chelsea's for £45m with the club "willing to double his salary to £200,000 a week".

Indeed, while Costa was back on form a year ago, Conte's desire to replace him with his own recruit is understandable.

The Chelsea squad are due back for pre-season training at their Surrey HQ on July 7 but the ex-Italy chief Conte plans to return a couple of days beforehand to make sure he is fully prepared.

Conte doesn't want me at Chelsea: Costa