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 By PA Sport

Chelsea's Diego Costa: 'Conte said he did not count on me for next season'

Chelsea striker Diego Costa claims Antonio Conte sent him a text message to tell him he is not part of his plans at Chelsea.

The 28-year-old, who scored 26 goals in 46 games for the Premier League champions last season, says Conte texted him to inform him of his fate and Costa is now contemplating his future away from Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to reporters after Spain's 2-2 draw with Colombia on Wednesday night, Costa said: "I'm a Chelsea player, but they do not want me there. Antonio Conte has told me by message that I do not follow at Chelsea and that's it. Conte said he did not count on me for next season.

"It's a shame, I've already forwarded the message to Chelsea people to decide. But it is clear that the coach does not count on me and does not want me there. You have to find a team.''

An exit from Chelsea has long been on the cards for Costa, who has been the reported subject of a money-spinning offer from a Chinese Super League club.

The striker has his heart set on a return to Atletico Madrid, though that move would be delayed due to the Spanish club's transfer embargo.

Antonio Conte and Diego Costa
Diego Costa says Antonio Conte informed him he no longer wants him at Chelsea.

"It would be nice to return to Atletico, but it is difficult to be four-five months without playing,'' Costa added in quotes reported by Marca. "Being five months without playing? I do not know, it's complicated, but people know that I love Atletico a lot and that I love living in Madrid.

"It would be nice to go back, but it's difficult to be four-five months without playing. It's a World Cup year and there's a lot to think about. I need to play, that's all.''

Costa did not feature for his Spain in the friendly in Murcia, where reported Manchester United target Alvaro Morata scored a late equaliser.

He joined the Blues in 2014 for a £32 million fee and has bagged 58 goals in 120 games, winning two Premier League titles and one League Cup.

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