Costa’s relationship with the club has been strained ever since it was revealed by the player that manager Antonio Conte had texted him to inform him they will go in another direction next season. That has not yet materialized, as Chelsea was beaten to top target Romelu Lukaku by Manchester United, but rumors still continue to fly about who will be brought in to lead the strike force.
[ MORE: Saturday transfer rumor roundup ]
The ESPN report states that Costa is still currently in his native Brazil, hoping to secure a move to Atletico Madrid. Things have not progressed on that front as he would have desired, with the club’s transfer ban not only leaving him without a place to play until January, but also with competition in Antoine Greizmann. It was initially thought that Griezmann would leave for Manchester United, but he has signed a new Atletico Madrid contract in light of the transfer ban.
It’s still feasible that Chelsea could reconcile with Costa, especially considering the hefty price tags of all remaining top-line strikers on the market. Andrea Belotti, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Alvaro Morata are all thought to command huge sums of money.
Nemanja Matic is also reportedly absent from the trip, with rumors of a move to Manchester United flying for weeks, while Juventus is also in the mix. In addition, Kurt Zouma will not travel as he is finalizing a loan move to Stoke City.