Diego Costa changed original plan to leave Chelsea after Conte's text

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Football News

Diego Costa's availability this summer would have made plenty of big clubs sit up and take notice.

The Spanish international's time at Chelsea is almost all but over after Antonio Conte informed him he would not be at the club next season via a text message last week.

The fallout from that message has been pretty severe. What was actually said has been leaked to the press, meanwhile, The Sun are reporting Conte has accepted he broke protocol with the manner Costa's situation was handled, but has escaped further punishment.

Costa's exit, however, hasn't been totally unexpected.

The Chelsea star was heavily linked with leaving the club during the closing stages of last season, with China touted to be his most likely destination.

And according to Marca, he had already come up with a plan to secure his departure, but not to China.

Costa, who recently revealed his reluctance to move to Asia in a World Cup year, had originally wanted to stay at Chelsea until January before rejoining former club Atletico Madrid once their transfer ban had ended.

However, Conte's text has forced the 28-year-old to reconsider as he now knows he isn't part of the Premier League champions' plans for the upcoming campaign.

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That's not to say Costa's won't still get his preferred switch to Atletico, though.

The striker could move on loan to another club for six months before registering with Diego Simeone's side.

There is also the possibility Costa could simply sit out the first half of the campaign but at this stage, such an option would appear unlikely.

Particularly when the Brazilian-born forward has 'lots of offers' on the table according to his brother.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Jair Costa refused to provide an indication where his sibling will be playing his football next season but hinted a return to Atletico would be favourable.

"Thankfully Diego has lots of offers," Jair told Yahoo Brazil. "I can't say how many but they exist.

"He has great affection for Atletico but right now, there is nothing [concrete].

"We have to wait and see what happens."

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