Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has left the door open to the possibility that Diego Costa could still leave the club this summer.
The Spanish international has been linked with an exit after enduring a difficult campaign last year, with injuries and a loss of form also seeing him snubbed for La Roja’s squad for Euro 2016 earlier this summer.
While a back injury has now sidelined him in pre-season and could force him to miss the start of the new campaign, Conte has failed to give assurances that the former Atletico Madrid star will still be a Chelsea player when the season kicks off.
“I can say that today Costa is a Chelsea player,” Conte told the media, as seen below. “He didn’t play in these games because of injury and if he solves the injury and I see in training that he is in good shape it can be possible to see him in the next game against Milan.
“But I can say only this. I speak only for today and today Costa is Chelsea’s player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know.”
It comes just a day after reports in the British media, as noted by the Metro, suggested that Costa could be closing in on a return to Atleti, a move that has been touted for months with the unsettled Chelsea star seemingly missing life in the Spanish capital.
Diego Simeone’s move for Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla seemed to end that line of thought, as along with the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres, it appears as though he now has plenty of options.
However, Conte has opened it up again as Costa faces anything but a certain future at Stamford Bridge moving forward, with the Italian tactician seemingly not taking the perfect opportunity to categorically state that the forward is part of his plans.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) July 31, 2016