Chelsea officials stunned by Antonio Conte’s decision to dump Diego Costa by text

Chelsea officials stunned by Antonio Conte’s decision to dump Diego Costa by text

Antonio Conte’s decision to dump his top scorer by text and Diego Costa’s reaction to go public on the private exchange has stunned the Chelsea board and is set to cost them millions.

It is hard to envisage a way back to Stamford Bridge for Costa after this latest episode in a stormy relationship with Conte and the manager’s own rogue activities will damage his club’s negotiating stance.

Would-be buyers now know Chelsea are desperate to sell, as do those who might sell the Premier League champions a replacement such as Everton, less likely than ever to reduce their £100million valuation of Romelu Lukaku.

Conte’s unofficial text message also opens the way for Costa’s representatives to demand a hefty loyalty payment with proof the club instigated his exit.

While on holiday, Chelsea’s manager sent a goodwill message to all his first-team players wishing them a happy time with their families and reminding them to do a bit of physical activity and stay in shape.

Costa fired off a reply, not thought to have been openly provocative but enough to irritate Conte who sent back the message which left his striker in no doubt that he was no longer part of the plans at Chelsea.

The text exchange was reported to the club by Costa and he received a message relayed back from director and chief transfer negotiator Marina Granovskaia telling him to back off and leave the negotiations to her.

On Wednesday, after he was an unused substitute in Spain’s 2-2 draw with Colombia, Costa came out of the dressing rooms and revealed all to the Spanish media about his ‘bad’ relationship with Conte.

‘The other day, Conte sent me a message saying he does not count on me for next season,’ said Costa. ‘So, I’ll have to find a way out. If the manager gets in contact to tell you that you are not wanted then you have to leave.’

He reaffirmed his love for Atletico Madrid and of life in the Spanish capital but knows his former club are banned from signing players until the end of the year.
AC Milan have emerged as a genuine alternative.

Culled from Mail

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