Chelsea face £10million hit on striker after row with Antonio Conte

Former club Atletico are Costa's favoured next club but their transfer ban for the illegal signing of underage players complicates matters somewhat with any signing made this summer unable to be registered to play until January. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld FIFA's transfer ban on Atletico meaning they are unable to sign players until January 2018.

After scoring for Spain in a World Cup qualifying win over Macedonia at the weekend, Costa discussed his fate at club level.

There are few clubs that can afford the Chelsea striker, although they will likely be aided by Conte's desire to get rid of him and Costa's own desire to be elsewhere. "I can not say how many there are, but they exist". I have to wait to see what decision my club makes.

The Italian manager had sent a text to his players wishing them a good holiday and telling them to stay fit and, after Costa replied in a jokey way, the 28-year-old was told he was no longer in the manager's plans.

The Chelsea squad are due back for pre-season training at their Surrey HQ on July 7 but the ex-Italy chief Conte plans to return a couple of days beforehand to make sure he is fully prepared.

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He added: "I have a contract with Chelsea for two years".

In the wake of Arsenal finishing fifth in the league and failing to qualify for Champions League football, Alexis appears to be weighing his options with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich interested in the talisman. "I want to be playing, always".

"But if he doesn't want me there, then I will have to look for a new team". You have to ask him [Antonio Conte, about what happened], not me. Let's hope all those offers aren't just from the Chinese Super League, a destination that could prove as problematic as five months on the bench in the run up to next year's World Cup. The Italy global plays in a position similar to his Belgian counterpart's and Conte has identified him as an alternative if they lose Hazard to Real.

More importantly, would Chelsea sanction a move that would strengthen a direct title rival?

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