Diego Costa has not turned up for pre-season training at Chelsea.
It is claimed the move was agreed between the striker and the club but it is set to see the 28-year-old striker wrap up his move to Atletico Madrid sooner rather than later.
Costa, whose goals helped the club to their second title in three seasons back in May, was axed during his summer break by boss Antonio Conte.
Costa revealed Conte had texted him to say that he is no longer part of his plans.
The controversial move – unsanctioned by Chelsea – has forced the Champions to negotiate with Atletico Madrid, the only club that Costa is prepared to join.
Chelsea are demanding £40-50million for Costa but are unable to use interest from Turkish club Besiktas as leverage as the player’s primary wish is to rejoin his former club.
Costa has been in Brazil with friends enjoying his summer break in the knowledge that there has been no need for him to follow Conte’s instruction to the rest of the Chelsea squad to stay in shape.
The striker is still, however, due a loyalty bonus from the Blues as he is able to argue that he did not ask to leave the club.
Chelsea have a number of strikers under consideration as potential replacements for Costa now that Romelu Lukaku has joined Manchester United.
Torino’s Andrea Belotti, Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata – a player that Conte has worked with before – are all in the Blues’ sights.
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