Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been excused from pre-season training, according to reports.
The Spain international was reportedly told via text message by Blues manager Antonio Conte that he had no future at Stamford Bridge and his absence from the club’s summer training regiment has been mutually agreed by both parties.
Sky Sports claim Costa did not want to reunite with his Chelsea teammates as they returned to the club following a summer break, despite being part of the side that won the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final last season, scoring 22 goals in all competitions.
Diego Costa wants to stay at Chelsea but knows there’s no way back now. Atletico deal being negotiated. Has played last game for Chelsea
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 10, 2017
Atletico Madrid are interested in signing their former striker and are expected to have made a firm offer for the 28-year-old, despite being unable to acquire players in January 2018 due to their transfer ban.
Diego Costa excused attending the start of Chelsea pre-season training today. Story coming up on @TeleFootball
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) July 10, 2017
Meanwhile, Marca believe Conte’s side are targeting Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season with 31 league goals, beating Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski by one strike.
However, a hefty sum will be required if Chelsea are to sign the Gabon international to replace Costa, with the report claiming an offer of €70m will be needed if Dortmund are to part with their most prized asset.
Chelsea had been planning on using that money for a bid for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku but the Belgium international is set to join Manchester United instead after the Red Devils announced a £75m fee had been agreed by the two clubs.
Their pursuit of Aubameyang means the future of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata remains unclear, with United and Chelsea two of a limited amount of clubs willing to spend large amounts to sign their respective transfer targets.