Antonio Conte had made up his mind to sell Diego Costa following their training ground bust-up last January.
The Chelsea boss is understood to have shouted “Go to China!” at Costa following their row, amid reports linking the Brazil-born Spain international with a big-money move away from Stamford Bridge, and their relationship never recovered.
Costa continued to play for Chelsea until the end of the season – and, indeed, helped the Blues win the Premier League title with his goals – but Conte had decided to axe the 29-year-old regardless of his contribution during the final months of the 2016-17 campaign.
Costa was informed of Conte’s decision over the summer via text message and he never played for Chelsea again.
He agreed to re-sign for Atletico Madrid in September but was unable to play for the Spanish club until last month due to the club’s ban on registering new signings.
Morata has endured a difficult start to life at Chelsea
Costa has scored three goals in four appearances for Atleti while his replacement over at Chelsea, Alvaro Morata, has experienced a disappointing start to life in west London.
Morata’s international teammate has scored 12 goals in 32 appearances for the Blues this season and wasted some big chances to score in recent weeks.
Chelsea supporters, judging by the reaction on social media, are becoming increasingly fed up with the £60 million striker’s profligacy.
And it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Conte starts January signing Olivier Giroud, who started in Monday’s 3-0 win over West Brom, against Barcelona in the Champions League next week.
Chelsea fans were confident that Morata would be a success at the Bridge and most of them were reasonably happy with the signing after missing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
Morata had scored 20 goals for Real Madrid last season – more than Karim Benzema, mostly from appearances off the substitutes’ bench.
But so far, it’s fair to say that he has mostly flattered to deceive.
Chelsea fan’s Costa v Morata tweet goes viral
One Chelsea fan’s post highlighting the difference between Costa and Morata has gone viral over the past couple of days – and it’s genius.
It shows Costa getting into fights with various Premier League players, and then Morata using a hairdryer on his girlfriend’s hair.
Check it out…
Silly? Yes. But it’s very funny.
Here are some of the best replies…
Chelsea fans: would you have Diego Costa back at Stamford Bridge instead of Alvaro Morata? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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