Diego Costa’s Chelsea career is all but over.
The striker received a text message from Antonio Conte to that effect, and the Mirror have revealed the blunt nature of the exchange between the two.
“Hi Diego, I hope you are well. Thanks for the season we spent together. Good luck for the next year but you are not in my plan.”
Costa’s reply? “OK.”
The Spain international hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself with the Italian. He walked out of training in January when he became aware of interest from China and while publicly, Conte has brushed it under the carpet, it has seemed inevitable ever since that Costa would be sold.
The only question now is where his next destination will be.
A move back to Atletico Madrid, his old club, is problematic because their transfer ban has been upheld. That means Costa would be unable to play until January if he did re-sign for the Rojiblancos.
A loan spell with AC Milan could be used to fill that void, but his wages are a problem.
The Serie A club are not exactly strapped for cash, but they are reluctant to pay his £9million salary, per The Sun. The newspaper claims, therefore, that if they want him out, Chelsea may have to front up the money themselves.
That is against Chelsea’s current policy regarding loans, but they could make an exception if they think Costa will be a disruptive influence.
It’s money that would be better spent on their pursuit of Romelu Lukaku, but realistically, that deal isn’t going to happen until Costa is out of the way.