CHELSEA have fined Diego Costa £300,000 for not returning to the club for pre-season last month.
Costa was told via text message by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte that he was not wanted at the club this season and the 28-year-old has responded by staying in his native Brazil.
Costa wants a return to Atletico Madrid but the situation is hampered by the Spanish club’s transfer ban which means any player signed is ineligible to play until January.
In an explosive newspaper interview, Costa blasted Conte, said he’d lost respect for the Italian coach and insisted he is “not a criminal”.
“My idea would be to go to Madrid, train there, get in the best physical shape and be ready to fire ahead of the World Cup. I’ve spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, “If the manager doesn’t want me, I want to go to Atletico Madrid”. I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams.
“If I have to I will stay in Brazil. I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don’t pay me. I’ll come back stronger. If I was in the wrong, I’d go back now and do as they say.”
Without Costa, Chelsea had a mixed pre-season and lost their first match of the Premier League season 3-2 to Burnley.