And suddenly the Lukaku rumors make a whole lot more sense.
Diego Costa did not play in Wednesday’s friendly between Spain and Colombia — Pedro and Azpilicueta did partake in the 2-2 draw, with the former picking up an assist — but the Chelsea striker did drop another bombshell when talking with reporters after the game.
That’s Spanish for “I have to leave Chelsea this summer because Conte has told me that he’s not counting with me.”
The Metro have this quote as “I have received a message from Antonio Conte saying that he does not count on me for the next season. Everyone knows where I want to play.”
The Mail have it as “I'm going to be honest, the other day, Conte sent me a message saying I am not in his plans for Chelsea, so I'll have to find a way out.”
In a text message? That’s cold blooded, Antonio.
Another confirmation from a Spanish journalist.
Trouble is of course that Atletico Madrid, which is where Costa wants to play, are prohibited from registering new players until January. And Costa apparently doesn’t want to just sit around for six months. There’s also the problem of the reporterd maximum £20m fee that Atletico can pay, which even if we’re looking to get rid of Costa, is a severe discount.
“I love living in Madrid, but 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.”
-Diego Costa; source: Mail
Do we send him on loan for six months then?
Costa also revealed that there’s been trouble brewing for some time, so this perhaps shouldn’t be all that surprising.
"My relationship with the coach has been bad this season and it is clear that he does not want me on the team. I guess I have had such a bad season that I can't continue. Right now I'm a Chelsea player because I have a contract, but the coach does not want me there. I have to find a new team."
-Diego Costa; source: Marca
Wow. Were it Chelsea who were looking to get rid of Costa all along? Did we push the Chinese angle? What the...
Here’s full Spanish audio of the interview (h/t: Intheblue):