Saturday 14 January 2017 17:45, UK
Diego Costa has been dropped from Chelsea's squad to face Leicester after a row with manager Antonio Conte, according to Sky sources.
It is understood he has not trained with the first-team for the last three days after he was the subject of a £30m-per-year offer from a club in the Chinese Super League.
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Sky sources understand the Spain striker has become unsettled by the approach from China, which would make him one of the highest paid footballers in the world, and he became embroiled in an argument with two fitness coaches.
Conte then stepped in and, according to Sky in Italy, the row ended with the Italian shouting: "Go to China!"
Sky sources understand that owner Roman Abramovich has no intention of selling Costa, who has two-and-a-half years left on his contract.
Graeme Souness has warned Chelsea they risk missing out on the title if they lose Diego Costa
The 28-year-old Spain international did though express his support for his team-mates late on Friday night by posting a photo on Instagram from the Blues' win over Tottenham in November, along with the caption: "Come on Chelsea!!!", plus a heart emoji.
But it comes as a major blow to Chelsea as the Premier League leaders look to get their title bid back on track at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening, following their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham last week.
Costa has been in superb form this season and is the league's top scorer with 14 goals, and Sky Sports football expert Graeme Souness believes this could derail Chelsea's title bid.
"This is the very last thing Chelsea need. He is playing out of his skin. They lose him and all of a sudden they are not going to win the Premier League," Souness said.
"If sense prevailed, maybe he could stay until the end of the season. There has to be a way around this where everybody can be happy."
Costa joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid for £32m in 2014 and the 28-year-old has scored 50 goals for the Blues in all competitions.