Chelsea star’s future in doubt after a fight with Conte


Diego Costa dropped for the game against Leicester following a bust-up with Antonio Conte

According to latest reports coming out from London, Chelsea’s star striker Diego Costa and manager Antonio Conte were involved in a row which has led to the Italian dropping the Spaniard for the tomorrow match against Leicester.

Sources say there were already problems in the Chelsea dressing room this week, due to Costa clashing with fitness coach Julio Tous over his lower back injury.

Since the clash with Tous, Costa hasn’t been training for three days. Conte has now gotten involved in this problem and taken the side of his medical staff, leading to a bust up with his star player in the process.

This can come in as a huge threat to Chelsea’s title hopes, as Costa is the leading scorer in the league with 14 goals in 19 appearances.

This isn’t the first time Costa and Conte were involved in a bust up this season. In October, the two fiery characters reportedly clashed following a win over Leicester.

However, this time around, it can actually lead to Costa’s exit from the club with a staggering offer from China on the table.

The London outfits recently sold midfielder Oscar to the Chinese club Shanghai SIPG for £60m and will consider selling Costa as well if the player fails to get along with the manager.

Atletico Madrid were also interested in Costa during the summer and almost succeeded in bringing him back until Conte intervened and stopped the deal from taking place.

It hasn’t stopped the 28-year-old striker from wanting to return to his old club though, as Costa openly admitted he misses Atletico Madrid and wishes he could go back.

More from Playing for 90

The speculation about his return has resurfaced again after he was seen dining with Atletico boss Diego Simeone in November, and the Spanish club are still keen to bring the striker back due to Kevin Gameiro failing to live up to his transfer fee.

Chelsea currently only have the 23-year-old Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi to take over Costa’s place, although the youngster is also linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. Pedro Rodriguez and Eden Hazard are the other options for Conte should he wishes to put a faster and smaller player up top. Cesc Fabregas has also played as a false nine for Spain and can be tested in the position again for the club.

Fernando Llorente so far has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea and looks to be a similar player to Costa. The 6 feet 5 inches tall striker has previously worked with Conte at Juventus and his physical presence at top makes him an attractive option for the Italian manager.

However, the Spanish striker’s scoring form is far from that of his compatriot. Llorente has only managed to hit the back of the net seven times in 31 appearances during his last season at Juve. He was also a disappointment in Sevilla last season with just four goals in 23 games.

Next: Chelsea reverse course

Although he has improved his form with five goals in 12 matches for Swansea this season, he is not the man to replace Costa should the striker ends up exiting the club. Unless Chelsea can bring in a truly world-class striker, losing Costa will be a big blow to their title chances.