Diego Costa threatens to go on Chelsea strike for a year due to fall-out with Antonio Conte
By Sky Sports
Last Updated: 14/08/17 1:59pm
Chelsea striker Diego Costa has launched a scathing attack on Antonio Conte and Chelsea from his home town in Brazil.
The 28-year-old striker has criticised the Blues manager for telling him via a text message earlier this summer that he was no longer wanted at the club.
Costa has suggested Chelsea are blocking his desired move back to former club Atletico Madrid and says he is prepared to down tools and stay in Brazil for a year without playing, even if the club disciplines him as a result.
Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, Costa said: "In January, things happened with the coach. I was on the brink of renewing my contract and they put the brakes on it.
"I suspect the manager was behind it. He asked for that to happen. I have seen the sort of person he is. He has his own opinion and that will not change. I respect him as a great coach. He has done a good job and I can see that, but as a person, no.
"I was with the Spain national team, alone in my room, when it (the text message) came through. It was a shock to get it like that. I was showing it to my team-mates and they could not believe how he had done it. I was angry at the time. Now I am more calm.
"I have not deleted the message. If people accuse me of lying, I can show them. It was clear, saying that he didn't count on me and wishing me the best for the future. Full stop. Conte has his mentality. He thinks it's the best way of working.
"My idea would be to go to Madrid, train there, get in the best physical shape and be ready to fire ahead of the World Cup. I've spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, "If the manager doesn't want me, I want to go to Atletico Madrid". I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams.
"If I have to I will stay in Brazil. I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don't pay me. I'll come back stronger. If I was in the wrong, I'd go back now and do as they say."
Costa has not been to Chelsea's training ground at Cobham since they won the Premier League title in May and there have been reports the club have been concerned he has been putting on weight in order to lower their £50m valuation.
Atletico Madrid want to re-sign the Spain international after he scored 54 senior goals in over 100 appearances during an eight-year stint at the club before selling him to Chelsea for £32m in 2014.