Chelsea have responded firmly toclaims of maltreatment, demanding the striker return to training and get himself fit for first-team selection.
The Premier League champions have been forced to respond after Costa gave an interview from his home in Brazil where he claimed thatover his desire to leave the club this summer.
It is understoodhave made four demands of the player if he is to restore relations that have been badly soured even before this weekend’s interview. The first is straightforward, that he should return to the club. The second is that he should report for training, the third that he get match fit and the fourth, and most surprising, that he put himself into contention for first-team selection.
Costa is believed to have been absent without leave from Chelsea since the club flew to China for a pre-season tour in the middle of July. The club have refused to discuss the nature of any disciplinary proceedings against the player, but Costa claimed in histhat he has had his wages docked since that time.The 28-year-old has been in dispute with Chelsea’s coach, , since the turn of the year when the Brazilian-born Spain international was upbraided for a row with the fitness coach Julio Tous. After a disappointing second half to last season, Conte told the player he was surplus to requirements by text message, the contents of which Costa then made public.
I think the best Costa can hope for is to engender some goodwill, helping him work towards his preferred resolution: a return to his former club Atlético Madrid. Atlético, however, have yet to meet Chelsea’s valuation for the player. They remain an interested party watching on as a struggle for power between player and employee continues.