CHINA CALLING: Conte Drops Diego Costa For Leicester Clash After Row Amid Chinese Super League Links
Blues’ top scorer Diego Costa has been dropped from Chelsea’s visit to Leicester City on Saturday as the club thinks that the former Atletico Madrid striker can make a move away to the Chinese Super League.
Antonio Conte opted to axe Diego Costa after the Spanish striker was involved in a tussle with one of his coaching staff, Julio Tous.
Foottheball sources claim that the Chelsea officials are well aware that Diego Costa’s representatives have received astronomical transfer offers for the player from two Chinese Super League clubs.
Both the Chinese Super League clubs are keen on luring away Diego Costa from the Premier League.
After the bust-up with one of Conte’s coaching staff, Diego Costa has skipped training with the Blues squad for almost a week and now sources claim that his Chelsea future is under doubt.
Diego Costa proved his mettle once again this season and found life happy under new boss Antonio Conte, who got the best out of the Spanish striker.
Costa has played a quintessential role in guiding Chelsea to the top spot in the Premier League table, and they are 5 points ahead second placed Liverpool.
The Spanish star is also the Premier League’s top scorer so far with 14 goals and has displayed incredible form right from the beginning of the season.
But now Costa’s relationship with the Italian manager has hit the wrong end after his representatives informed him about the tempting offer from China – that brings in the palette, a mammoth £570,000-a-week wage packet for the Spanish player, and above all this he also argued with one of Conte’s coaching staff Julio Tous.
In the pre-match conference Conte had hinted about making some changes when he said: “I have to check a couple of situations and then to decide tomorrow.”
When asked to throw some more light on the expected changes, he said: “No. I don’t want to give advantage to our opponent.”
Chelsea are now looking to hold on the top position in the league table after losing 2-0 to Spurs, which broke their 13-match winning streak.
And ahead of the crucial clash with Leicester City, Diego Costa took to Instagram and posted a message of support for his Chelsea teammates.
Conte would now look to use Eden Hazard in the centre-forward position as he had done during Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth last month.
Surprisingly, during Chelsea’s home win over the Foxes earlier this season, Costa was involved in a bust-up with Conte. Diego Costa had scored in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over reigning champions but Blues boss was surprised when the Spanish striker asked to be substituted, which had spurred the row.
But the duo were quick to solve the issue and move forward and Costa has been in incredible form since.
Earlier this month, Brazilian star Oscar moved to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea for a whooping £60m, while Ramires had made a switch to China last year for a transfer fee of £25million
And now it would be interesting to see whether the cash-rich Chinese Super League can lure away Diego Costa.