Diego Costa: Conte said he does not count on me for next season
The Diego Costa transfer saga took a turn last night after the striker told reporters Antonio Conte personally informed him that he is not wanted at Chelsea next season.
Diego Costa's hostile relationship with manager Antonio Conte, which led to the striker being omitted from the squad earlier this year, was believed to have pathed the way for the Spaniard to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Costa, though, reiterated after Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup loss to Arsenal that he wants to remain at Chelsea.
Furthermore, Costa looked set to stay after Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian denied interest in him and Atletico Madrid's failed appeal against their transfer ban ruled them out of a potential deal to bring the former player back.
However, there is a new twist in the transfer saga after Diego Costa sensationally claimed Antonio Conte personally told the forward that he does not want him at Chelsea next season.
Speaking to reporters after Spain's 2-2 draw with Colombia, Costa was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: "I'm going to be honest, the other day, Conte sent me a message saying he does not count on me for next season, so I'll have to find a way out."
Costa previously said he would only leave Chelsea for Atletico Madrid, but when he was asked about a possible return, the 28-year-old replied: "I have to think about my future. It’s complicated because I cannot go four or five months without playing. I have no preference for a league, I just want to play."
The public disclosure of a private conversation between player and manager was a shocking revelation. It seems absurd that Conte informed Diego Costa of his decision via text but it remains to be seen how Conte responds to this as there will likely be a very public war of words between the pair in the coming weeks.
Additionally, Costa's words have suggested that the player will be open to playing anywhere as long as he leaves Chelsea. This will put many clubs across Europe on red alert as they try to get one of the Premier League's top goalscorers to their side.