The Russian oligarch is determined not to bow to Costa’s wishes amid a mammoth bid from the Chinese Super League.
ANTONIO CONTE DENIES BUST UP WITH DIEGO COSTA
Diego Costa is now at loggerheads with Roman Abramovich – after refusing to commit himself to a new deal at Chelsea. The Blues owner will not countenance selling him to Chinese club Tianjin Quinjian – where Costa has a staggering £570,000-a-week deal on the table.
Costa in turn has insisted he will not sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge. His stance could yet force the Russian’s hand as Abramovich will be well aware of the Spain striker’s falling valuation as his contract runs down. Costa, whose contract expires in 2019, found himself out in the cold yesterday, training alone after his bust-up last week with boss Antonio Conte.
Chelsea are exploring a fresh move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as their consider replacements for the Premier League’s joint leading scorer, currently on 14 goals. But tensions are understood to have simmered down between Costa and Conte following the flashpoint which saw the marksman axed for last Saturday’s 3-0 win at Leicester. Costa went through his paces at the club’s Cobham HQ on Monday while his team-mates enjoyed the second of two days off.
But Chelsea remain concerned that Costa and his representatives are keen to explore several lucrative opportunities being offered to the former Atletico Madrid frontman in China. Super League outfit Tianjin Quinjian are already prepared to offer Costa over £570,000-a-week to join them. Winger Willian and Cesc Fabregas have already rejected offers to move to the Far East but are set to be targeted in fresh moves.
Abramovich, however, remains determined to hold on to his stars and ensure Costa stays a vital part of Conte’s title bid.