Diego Costa has put an end to months of speculation about his future at Chelsea by claiming that coach Antonio Conte has told him he is not part of his plans at the West London club next season.
The 28-year-old striker played a huge role in Chelsea’s title success, scoring 20 goals in 35 league appearances, making him the Premier League’s fourth highest scorer last season. However, it was reported in January that the Spain international was on the verge of leaving the club for the Chinese Super League.
Speaking after Spain’s 2-2 draw with Colombia on Wednesday, Conte told reporters: "Conte has sent me a message to tell me I am not in his plans for Chelsea.”
He added: "My relationship with the coach has been bad this season. It's a shame, but it's clear that the coach does not count on me and he does not want me there."
Conte has been linked with a number of European teams, including his former team Atletico Madrid, who are currently serving a transfer ban until January 2018.
In response to questions about Atletico as a possible destination, Conte said: "Being five months without playing? I do not know, it's complicated, but people know that I love Atletico a lot and that I love to live in Madrid.”
He added: "It would be nice to go back, but it's difficult to be four or five months without playing. It's a World Cup year and there are many things to think about. I need to play, just that."