CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly unwilling to risk angering Antonio Conte by indulging Diego Costa.
The Russian billionaire appointed the former Juventus boss as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor in April 2016.
And his choice was immediately vindicated as the Blues marched to Premier League title glory and the FA Cup final at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
Abramovich is poised to back Conte during the summer transfer window, ahead of Chelsea’s return to Champions League action next season.
And it seems that support also applies to sanctioning deals for players he wants to get rid of, including Costa.
The Spain international revealed on Wednesday night that Conte has told him by text that he isn’t part of his plans going forwards.
And the Mirror report Abramovich has ignored Costa’s plea to overrule Conte’s decision and help him stay at Stamford Bridge.
They claim the stance contrasts to that previously adopted by the oligarch, who’s sided with stars rather than his managers.
Chelsea are now set to press ahead with plans to take Romelu Lukaku back to west London from Everton as Costa’s replacement.
Should they miss out on the 24-year-old hitman, Real Madrid ace Alvaro Morata is thought to be on Conte’s radar too.
Costa, meanwhile, fancies a return to Atletico Madrid – although that move may have to wait until their transfer ban is lifted in January 2018.