High and Dry: Conte Cuts Costa Loose from Chelsea

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Premier League champions Chelsea are set for a major summer shakeup with the news that star striker Diego Costa has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he does not have a future at the club.

Despite bagging 22 goals in all competitions last season, including 20 in the Premier League, Spanish international Costa has been constantly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

And all doubts have now disappeared after the striker stated that Conte has informed him he is free to look for another club amid heightened rumours of a potential deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Goal writes.

“I had a simple little message on my mobile from Conte in which he said that he isn’t counting on me for next season,” Costa told the media following Spain’s 2-2 friendly draw with Colombia on Wednesday.

Costa came big on a number of occasions last season

“It will be because I’ve done badly this year. It’s a shame. I’ve forwarded the message on to the people at the club for them to decide but it’s clear that the coach isn’t counting on me and he doesn’t want me there.

“I’m on the market and so I’m looking for a team. If the coach doesn’t want you, you have to leave.”

The burly striker has been linked with a potential return to Atletico Madrid but he says a return is complicated by the LaLiga club’s transfer ban that prevents them making any signing until January 2018.

“It would be nice to go back to Atletico but I have to think everything over,” he said. “There’s a World Cup [in 2018] and I need to play. Being four or five months without playing is tough, but people know that I love my Atletico team-mates a lot, I love living in Madrid.”

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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