Chelsea striker Diego Costa was seen training alone at Cobham on Monday as speculation continues to fly around regarding his future at the club.
The Spaniard was left out at the weekend amid talk of a bust-up with Chelsea staff and boss Antonio Conte, as well as suggestions that an offer from China had come in, as per The Sun.
It’s now claimed that the 28-year-old is more than likely set to remain at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season, but that comes with its own problems too as it remains to be seen what his attitude is like and if he can be as influential as he has been so far this season.
Nevertheless, Chelsea opted to put him through his paces alone on Monday, as seen in the image below, while there were reports that he was in fact nursing a back injury with his teammates all given both Sunday and Monday off, according to Sky Sports.
Image courtesy of The Sun.
The Blues may well have made it look easy without Costa on Saturday against Leicester City, but they will want their talismanic forward happy and firing in goals rather than questioning how long he will stay and if he can be trusted to remain professional and not bring a negative atmosphere to the group.
One man who is far from impressed with talk of a possible move to China is Sky Sports pundit and former Chelsea man Ray Wilkins.
Evidently, a move to China for most top European players at this point is motivated by the financial aspects of the deal. That is something that Wilkins can’t understand for a player who still has so much to give at the very highest level.
“If it’s financial, and he wants to move to China, then I don’t quite understand it to be perfectly honest,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“I think as a footballer if you’re going to go to China, now at 28 years of age, you’re basically saying, like Oscar, your career is finished.
“You’re going there for the finance. Aren’t these young men earning enough in this country to enjoy playing their football?”
Wilkins reiterated that Chelsea do need Costa to win the title this season as he is simply unplayable for most defenders on his day.
It remains to be seen whether or not Conte can resolve the situation for at least another six months before looking for a replacement, but it is likely to be crucial to their chances of winning silverware in his first season in charge at Chelsea.