Exiled Chelsea star Diego Costa has given a withering assessment of head coach Antonio Conte and accused the Premier League champions of treating him as if he were a “criminal”.
Costa was Chelsea’s top scorer with 20 goals as they secured a second league title in three years last season but Conte has since informed the Spain international he does not feature in his first-team plans.
A return to former club Atletico Madrid remains the desired option for Costa, who is presently racking up fines as he refuses to return to Chelsea and train with the reserves.
“I wouldn’t be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact at all with the guys,” he explained. “I’m not a criminal! I don’t think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.
“They gave me a week extra off [at the start of pre-season training] but since then it’s fines all the way.
“I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don’t pay me,” he said.