Chelsea striker Diego Costa is ready to hand in a transfer request as he bids to accelerate his departure from the Premier League champions.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte sent Costa a text message at the end of last season to tell him he was not a part of his future plans and that he would be sold. However, over two months later, Costa is still officially a Chelsea player.
Costa’s lawyer Ricardo Cardoso has now spoken to the media, and has said the striker will hand in a transfer request in order to expedite his departure.
“We are going to activate all the legal mechanisms [to secure Costa’s exit] and formally present a transfer request.
“In three seasons at Chelsea he won two championships, and was the decisive players in those victories.
“When he was already with the Spain national team [for a friendly against Colombia last June] and before travelling to Brazil to enjoy his holidays he was released from Chelsea by SMS by the coach Antonio Conte.
“Obviously, this release, in the way it was done, and how it became known by everyone, was unfair treatment and a lack of respect to the player on the part of Conte which is unacceptable and inexcusable.
“Chelsea have not just not denied nor corrected the coach, either in public or private, but instead renewed his contract. This shows that they knew about and were in agreement with the release of Diego Costa and the way it was done. Such discriminatory behaviour makes it impossible for Costa to return to Chelsea while Antonio Conte is coach.
“There is no way that he can continue to play for Chelsea, a message which has been communicated various times to those in charge there. And he will not play for any other club that is not Atletico Madrid, a club where he had sporting success, but above all where he was always respected, even after he had joined Chelsea.”
Costa is believed to want to return to his former club Atletico Madrid. The Spain international would be allowed to sign for the La Liga club now, but would be unable to play for them until January, thanks to their transfer ban which was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
He has also been linked with a loan move to AC Milan.