In-form striker Diego Costa has been dropped by Chelsea following a row with manager Antonio Conte
Costa, who has led the Blues’ title charge this season, will play no part in their visit to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday after disputing the extent of an injury with the club’s medical staff.
The Spain International is also understood to have received a huge, distracting offer from China said to be in the region of £30 million a year, which he has in turn leveraged against Chelsea in order to land improved terms to his current deal.
But the Stamford Bridge outfit are reportedly ready to play hardball in negotiations with their top asset who is under contract until the summer of 2019, and have no intention of bowing to his demands, Goal writes.
After seeing his bid to return to Atletico Madrid in the summer fall flat, Costa has been in tremendous form, leading the Premier League scoring charts with 14 goals.
Meanwhile, Conte has become the first manager to receive the Barclays Manager of the Month award for a third month in succession after helping Chelsea to six successive wins in December.
The Blues equalled the Premier League record of 13 consecutive victories in a single season with maximum points throughout the month.
“This award shows we’re working very well,” Conte said.
“December was a great month for us. It was important for the table and for our confidence.”