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Antonio Conte showdown avoided, Chelsea misfit given time to find escape

Chelsea will report back for pre-season training on August 1 after a few days off, but that won’t include Diego Costa who continues to be linked with an exit.

Antonio Conte caused controversy earlier this summer after it was revealed that he had informed the Spanish international via text message that he didn’t figure in his plans moving forward.

Speculation has been rife over where he will be moving this summer, but as reported by Marca, he won’t report back to training this week as he’s been given additional time off to find an escape route from Stamford Bridge.

It’s added that the relationship between the pair is well beyond repair now and neither are keen on the idea of having an awkward reunion at Cobham this week ahead of the new campaign.

Instead, Costa will likely continue his work away from the club to keep himself fit and ready for the new campaign wherever he ends up between now and the end of the month, with Atletico Madrid still touted as his preferred destination.

That of course comes with its own issues in that with their transfer ban, he wouldn’t be able to play for them until January, and so he’ll certainly have to weight that up too in his decision with the World Cup approaching next summer.

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