Belfast Telegraph

Diego Costa on way from Chelsea after bust-up

By Jack Pitt-brooke

Diego Costa wants to leave Chelsea. The Brazilian striker has had his head turned by a £30million salary offer from China, and has been dropped by Antonio Conte for today's trip to Leicester City.

The Brazilian striker is unhappy with life in London, interested in a move to China, and that frustration spilled over into a furious row with Conte this week. The row stunned team-mates and the fall-out could derail Chelsea's title bid.

Chelsea have no obvious replacement for Costa, their best player this season, with 14 Premier League goals. He has been considering his Chelsea future all season, admitting recently that he was "about to leave" for Atletico Madrid last summer because of family reasons, only to end up staying at Chelsea because of the fans.

He has never enjoyed living in London and has spoken with friends about leaving the club, talk which has intensified with the recent offer from China. Costa could earn almost £600,000 per week in China, making him the second best played footballer in the world behind Carlos Tevez.

Chelsea were confident that they could keep Costa this season, and were hoping that he would extend his contract at the club. That is now less likely after the big China offer and this week's fall-out with Conte. Costa wants to take the money on offer but Chelsea, who have already sold Costa's compatriots Ramires and Oscar to China in the last year, have little incentive to sell him.

Belfast Telegraph


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