Diego Costa has been told he can leave Chelsea this summer and a move to China looks his most likely next move.
The Spanish international striker has revealed that Blues chief Antonio Conte has told him he can leave this summer.
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“I’m a Chelsea player, but they do not want me there,” said Costa.
“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.”
Costa has long been linked with a move to China, and in January he was dropped from the first-team squad after he demanded a move – before it failed to materialise.
Chelsea have been in talks to sign Romelu Lukaku for weeks, and it is now clear that Costa is not in the long-term plans of the club,
Earlier this summer, Costa insisted that he would only leave Chelsea for Atletico Madrid – but that is no longer an option as their transfer ban was upheld, meaning they can’t sign players until next year.
Now it remains to be seen what options are available for Costa, with a move to China – where he would become the highest paid player in world football – clearly the likeliest next move for the 28-year-old.
Ladbrokes rate Costa at just 2/7 to leave Chelsea this summer an is Evens to join any club from China.
Ladbrokes spokesman William Geldart said: “Conte’s given Costa his marching orders and it looks nailed-on that we’ll soon see an end to one of the most drawn-out sagas of the past year.
“In terms of the Spanish striker’s next destination the odds suggest he’ll finally swap Chelsea for China.”