The Spain striker says that his career at Stamford Bridge is over but why would Chelsea get rid of their top scorer?
Diego Costa dropped a bombshell after Spain’s 2-2 draw with Colombia on Wednesday by revealing that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had sent him a message to say that he was surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old has been Chelsea’s top scorer for three consecutive seasons but he hasn’t always been happy in west London and hasn’t adapted well to life in England’s capital city.
Despite Costa’s unhappiness, those around the club had hoped he would eventually settle in England but it has become increasingly clear in recent months that this was never going to happen.
The Blues hierarchy have been planning to offload Costa for a long time, with both Conte and owner Roman Abramovich in agreement that the striker needs to be sold.
They have long since lost patience in him and it appears that the club are happy to distance themselves from a key player. With each day that has passed in 2017, Costa has become more unhappy and his behaviour more erratic.
From a purely footballing sense, Conte adores Costa’s work-rate on the field. Costa’s goals were worth more points for Chelsea than any other player’s in the Premier League last season but Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata have been lined up for a long time to come in as his replacement.
The plans were put in place for Costa’s exit towards the end of January as Costa was dropped following a row with Conte and his fitness coach. This row took place after an offer was received from China to make the forward the second highest paid player in the world.
Chelsea do not have a buyer yet for Costa despite interest in his services in previous months. Atletico Madrid tried to re-sign him last summer and again ahead of the upcoming window but a transfer ban has delayed any business until at least January 2018.
Four clubs in China wanted Costa and Tianjin Quanjian made a formal offer for the Spain international, only for it to be rejected by Chelsea in January. This led to a falling out between Conte and Costa but the pair put their differences temporarily aside to secure the Premier League title.
Tianjin wanted to return with a new bid this summer but the Chinese authorities imposed a 100% tax on the club’s transfer business, leading to them cooling their interest as a move would have cost over £150 million.
Costa is in limbo and calling for clubs to come in for him. At this stage a stay at Chelsea is possible in the absence of a solid buyer but AC Milan are the newest team to register their interest.