First published: 30th November, 2015, 21:02 PM
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Diego Costa has told friends that he does not expect to be at Chelsea next season.
The controversial striker is unsettled and England, has a strained relationship with Jose Mourinho feels he is being forced out of the Premier League because of his robust style of play.
A source close to Costa has told Football Insider that the 27-year-old could be ready to push for a transfer from Stamford Bridge if there is interest in him from one of the leading Spanish clubs.
The player’s stance is unrelated to his two showdowns with Mourinho in Chelsea’s past two matches although they are unlikely to have helped matters.
Costa and Mourinho had a half-time bust-up in the tunnel during their team’s 4-0 win at Maccabi Tel-Aviv last Tuesday and the forward was then axed for the trip to Tottenham on Sunday, which they drew 0-0. Costa was so furious at being an unused substitute that he threw his bib at Mourinho in the final minutes of the White Hart Lane clash.
Mourinho played down both incidents afterwards but threw fresh doubt on the striker’s future by questioning his ability to read the game at his media conference last Friday.
The likelihood is now growing that Costa is in his final season at Stamford Bridge, although any transfer would not take place until next summer.
One potential avenue is former club Atletico Madrid, who could be in the market for a new forward if Antoine Griezmann leaves next year.
The Frenchman, 24, is being closely monitored by Chelsea on the back of a number of goal-drenched seasons in La Liga.
Griezmann had a £57million buy-out clause inserted in the new Atletico contract he signed in the summer but that figure would not put off the Premier League club.
Chelsea are aware that Costa, who has scored just four goals this season and only seven in 29 appearances stretching back to January, is not entirely content.