Costa left out af­ter Chi­nese re­ports

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - Sport -

Diego Costa’s fu­ture at Chelsea was thrown into doubt af­ter he was left out of the squad for to­day’s Premier League match away to cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter City.

Costa did not travel with the rest of the squad for tonight’s fix­ture.

The Blues de­clined to com­ment on re­ports that the 28-year-old for­ward had a dis­agree­ment with head coach An­to­nio Conte and his coach­ing staff and has been train­ing alone this week.

Conte yes­ter­day af­ter­noon said he had some undis­closed doubts for the game but men­tioned no names or rea­sons for po­ten­tial ab­sences.

He was also asked about Dim­itri Payet telling West Ham he wanted a move.

“I read about this sit­u­a­tion,” Conte said. “It’s very dif­fi­cult for me to talk about an­other player, of an­other team.

“For my club, for my play­ers to solve our prob­lem if there are prob­lems, it’s im­por­tant.”

Costa has been pro­lific this sea­son for a Chelsea side five points clear at the top of the ta­ble en­ter­ing this week­end’s fix­tures, scor­ing 14 goals in 19 Premier League games.

This month he was linked with a move to the Chi­nese Su­per League, with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing astro­nom­i­cal wages.

It was ru­moured Tian­jin Quan­jian were pre­pared to bid £80mil­lion and Costa’s fu­ture could be the main talk­ing point of the win­ter trans­fer win­dow, which closes on Jan­uary 31.

Costa signed a five-year deal on his ar­rival from Atletico Madrid in July 2014 for £32mil­lion, so has two-and-a-half years to run. Chelsea, and club owner Ro­man Abramovich, could there­fore re­sist Costa’s ag­i­tat­ing for a move.

Diego Costa: Fall­out with Chelsea coaches?

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