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What will Conte say? AWOL Diego Costa set to join Atletico after striker FAILS to turn up for training

Date Posted,July 10, 2017

Diego Costa has not turned up for pre-season training at Chelsea.

It is claimed the move was agreed between the striker and the club but it is set to see the 28-year-old striker wrap up his move to Atletico Madrid sooner rather than later.

Costa, whose goals helped the club to their second title in three seasons back in May, was axed during his summer break by boss Antonio Conte.

Costa revealed Conte had texted him to say that he is no longer part of his plans.

Conte joined the Chelsea players for a run at the start of the session (Image: JIM BENNETT)
Chelsea players first day of training
Chelsea returned for their first session of the summer on Monday (Image: JIM BENNETT)
Chelsea players first day of training
There were plenty of familiar faces – but Costa was not there (Image: JIM BENNETT)
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The controversial move – unsanctioned by Chelsea – has forced the Champions to negotiate with Atletico Madrid, the only club that Costa is prepared to join.

Chelsea are demanding £40-50million for Costa but are unable to use interest from Turkish club Besiktas as leverage as the player’s primary wish is to rejoin his former club.

Costa appears to have played his final game for Chelsea (Image: PA)
Manager Conte has told Costa that he is not needed at the club (Image: Steve Bardens – The FA)

Costa has been in Brazil with friends enjoying his summer break in the knowledge that there has been no need for him to follow Conte’s instruction to the rest of the Chelsea squad to stay in shape.

The striker is still, however, due a loyalty bonus from the Blues as he is able to argue that he did not ask to leave the club.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid
Costa is expected to join his former club Atletico (Image: Getty)
Costa’s future remains in the balance (Image: Getty Images)

Chelsea have a number of strikers under consideration as potential replacements for Costa now that Romelu Lukaku has joined Manchester United.

Torino’s Andrea Belotti, Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata – a player that Conte has worked with before – are all in the Blues’ sights.

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