Diego Costa absent from start of Chelsea's pre-season

Diego Costa celebrates after scoring against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on December 31, 2016
Image: Diego Costa was not present on the opening day of Chelsea's pre-season

Chelsea forward Diego Costa has been excused from the start of pre-season training by the club, according to Sky sources.

Costa's absence has been mutually agreed and he did not join the squad as they returned to work on Monday and Sky sources understand he will not play for the club again as Antonio Conte has lost patience with him.

Sky sources understand there is no way back for Costa at the club and we are told "he is finished at Chelsea for sure and has played his last game for the club".

Diego Costa and Antonio Conte
Image: Costa scored 20 goals last season as Antonio Conte won the Premier League title in his debut campaign

He wants to stay, but accepts there is no future for him at Chelsea. A transfer to his former club Atletico Madrid is being negotiated now.

The 28-year-old revealed in June that Conte had told him that he did not feature in his plans for the forthcoming campaign, despite netting 20 goals last season as Chelsea won the Premier League.

Costa is yet to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge and was set to return to their Cobham training base on Monday even with the uncertainty surrounding his future.

Atletico are currently under a transfer embargo and would be unable to register Costa as their player until January.

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New signing Antonio Rudiger is also not part of the squad having been afforded additional holiday after competing for Germany at the Confederations Cup.

The defender joined Chelsea from Roma on a five-year deal on Sunday, for a fee which could rise to £34m.

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