Date published: Thursday 8th June 2017 8:54

Diego Costa has been dumped by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte – by text.

Costa scored 20 Premier League goals last season as Chelsea won the title, but he has now been told that his services are no longer required.

Romelu Lukaku is expected to complete a big-money return to Chelsea, leaving Costa to find another club. It is particularly cruel as his former club Atletico Madrid cannot sign any new players until January.

He said on Wednesday night: “I’m a Chelsea player, but they do not want me there. Antonio Conte has told me by message that I do not follow at Chelsea and that’s it. Conte said he did not count on me for next season.

“It’s a shame, I’ve already forwarded the message to Chelsea people to decide. But it is clear that the coach does not count on me and does not want me there. You have to find a team.

“It would be nice to return to Atletico, but it is difficult to be four-five months without playing. Being five months without playing? I do not know, it’s complicated, but people know that I love Atletico a lot and that I love living in Madrid.

“It would be nice to go back, but it’s difficult to be four-five months without playing. It’s a World Cup year and there’s a lot to think about. I need to play, that’s all.”