Chelsea star Diego Costa has reportedly bid farewell to his teammates as he nears ever closer to a move away from the club.
Manager Antonio Conte infamously sent Costa a message at the end of last season to tell him he is not part of his future plans at Stamford Bridge, while Atletico Madrid (despite their transfer ban) are the frontrunners to re-sign the Spain international.
Costa has already been in touch with a several of his club teammates to say his goodbyes and to inform them that he expects to Atletico Madrid, ahead of the start of Chelsea’s official pre-season training on July 10.
As the Blues and Manchester United fight over Costa’s preferred replacement Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea are currently left in a striking crisis and according to the Telegraph, the club are ready to widen their search for Costa’s replacement.
If the Red Devils do beat the Blues to the Belgian, Conte will switch his attention to Alvaro Morata who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer.
Arsenal contract rebel Alexis Sanchez is another option, as is Torino’s Andrea Belotti, but it seems baffling that Conte would leave the club in such a precarious situation.
Last season, Costa one of the finest strikers in Europe, scoring 20 league goals and helping the Blues reach the summit of English football once again.
Now, the manager’s harsh treatment of their talisman has left the champions in a difficult predicament.
It remains to be seen, whether Chelsea will attempt to backtrack and patch things up with Costa and Conte, particularly if Lukaku moves to United.