Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that Diego Costa will be sold during the summer transfer window as the Spain striker is no longer in his plans. The Italian boss also revealed that his decision to part ways with the former Atletico Madrid striker was made back in January.
The 28-year-old striker had been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window after it emerged that Tianjin Quanjian made a big money offer to lure him to China.
Costa was then left out of the Chelsea squad for a 3-0 victory over Leicester City on 13 January amid suggestions he had a training ground row with Conte over his fitness.
The Spain international eventually stayed in West London and helped the Blues win the Premier League League title, scoring 20 goals in 35 games.
However, earlier in June, Costa revealed that Conte had told him via a text message that he was no longer in his plans ahead of the coming 2017-2018 season.
Speaking about the saga for the first time since Costa leaked that message, Conte has confirmed that there is no way back for the striker who will be allowed to leave Chelsea before the end of the transfer window.
"I don't like to talk about players who are not here. In January, the Costa situation was made very clear," Conte said in a press conference. "For the club, for him and his agent and for me the situation is closed."
Costa has been tipped to return to Atletico Madrid after earlier this week Chelsea announced that they had reached an agreement with Real Madrid to make Alvaro Morata their fourth signing of the summer – following the previous arrivals of Antonio Rudiger, Willy Caballero and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The Blues are expected to announce the signing of the Spaniard in the coming hours after the player landed in London on Thursday to complete a medical and finalise a deal that, according to BBC, is worth around £60m ($78m).
Reports have claimed that Chelsea had Romelu Lukaku as the priority target to bolster the attack and only turned their attention to the Real Madrid forward when the Belgian international agreed a move to Manchester United.
However, Conte said: "This is a good signing for us. Morata is a young player but he has a lot of experience and played in the past with Real Madrid and Juventus in the league and the Champions League.
"He's a good striker, a player with the right prospects for Chelsea. He will be our first-choice. He can show his value with us. He is young and can improve a lot."