Diego Costa has taken his first step towards reintegration into the Chelsea squad following his spat with Antonio Conte
Diego Costa has taken his first step towards reintegration into the Chelsea squad following his spat with Antonio Conte by resuming training with the team, with the striker hoping to play his part in the title pursuit before departing in the summer.
Costa had been working on his own since complain of ache in his lower back a week ago, prompting a row with the states members of Chelseas fitness staff who had doubted the validity of the trauma. Conte, who supported his coach, built Costa train alone and omitted him from the squad who beat Leicester City on Saturday. Chelsea were persuaded the players attitude was born less of an injury and more of interest from the Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Quanjian.
The forward declared himself fit and, having been assessed by medical faculty, was permitted to participate. Conte had never intended to speak to Costa to clear the air after the events of last week, preferring to seek out upgrading of attitude on the training pitch.
It will be down to the player to convince his administrator he should be involved in Sundays visit of Hull City at the expense of either Willian or Pedro, both outstanding at the King Power Stadium in partnership with Eden Hazard.
Although Chelsea always saw Costa returning to the fold, there is an acceptance his stay is unlikely to extend beyond the summer. The owner of Tianjin Quanjian, Shu Yuhui, has admitted attempts were made to secure Costa with a 30 m-a-year offer proposed to the players agent, Jorge Mendes, merely for Chelsea to make clear their 14 -goal top scorer would not be sold in the January window. That stance has never shifted.
The situation is likely to be revisited in the summer when other Chinese Super League clubs, as well as the players former club Atltico Madrid, are expected to rekindle their interest. Chelsea, resigned to the reality they will not be allowed to tie the striker down to a new contract with his bargain due to expire in 2019, will be more open to negotiating the 28 -year-olds exit at that point.
The money created through Costas sale will offer Conte more leeway in the market to secure a high-calibre replacement, with interest maintained in the Real Madrids former Juventus striker lvaro Morata. The Spaniard, signed for the Italian club by Conte, came close to moving to Chelsea last summertime only for Real to refuse to sanction the sale after exercising a buy-back clause with Juventus.
Morata has only started six Primera Liga games since he has scored five times and remains a long-term target for Chelsea. Players such as Romelu Lukaku at Everton and Crystal Palaces Christian Benteke will also come under serious consideration.
Tianjians transfer policy has had to transformation in the wake of the Chinese FA reducing the number of foreign players who can appear at any one time from four to three as it seeks to curb irrational spending. I made an appointment with Mendes and he came to my hometown to visit me, Shu told Tianjian Tv. At that time, we were interested in signing Costa. Paris Saint-Germain told us Edinson Cavani would only be allowed to leave in June, even though the player himself was willing to join us. The same can be said for Costa because Chelsea was able to let him leave in June. However, the new season of the Chinese Super League will nearly reach the halfway stage in June, we cant wait so long.
But this situation[ with the rule change] has brought a change to our signing schemes. We continue to wait and suffer, but at the end of the day well get someone. We have targeted a lot of strikers, and made an offer for[ Karim] Benzema, but with this policy change, we are very helpless.
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