Rift between Conte and Costa widening?

Chelsea striker Diego Costa trained alone for the second day in a row on Monday at the club's training base, British media reported

Diego Costa

Diego Costa has been recovering from a back trouble.   -  Reuters

Chelsea's Diego Costa was seen training alone for the second day in a row on Monday at the club's training base, British media reported, as he recovers from an apparent back pain.

Diego Costa's Chelsea future was called into question after he was left out of the Premier League leaders' win at champions Leicester on Saturday amid speculation he could be the subject of a £30 million bid from a Chinese club.

Costa said he was suffering from a back injury last week and duly became embroiled in a row with Chelsea fitness staff who aired doubts over the severity of his back problem. His relationship with Conte, who had supported his medical staff’s assessment, were strained further after another heated exchange the following day.

Manager Antonio Conte, however, was adamant it was injury though he didn't deny the rift between the two. "If there is a problem -- and I repeat 'if' -- with the players then in my career I prefer to sort the problem in the changing room, not outside and not in a press conference," Conte had said.

But, according to The Guardian, Antonio Conte does not intend to instigate discussions with the player and will merely seek evidence of a positive reaction in training. The British newspaper speculated that Costa "will depart Stamford Bridge in the summer."

"The events of the past week have ensured their original plan to secure Costa to new terms – his deal expires in 2019 – has effectively been abandoned", it reported.

It claimed that Costa, Chelsea's leading scorer, has been urged to apologise to Conte by fellow senior members of the side, if he wants to earn a recall to side.

But consensus is that Costa, Chelsea's leading scorer, will be part of the team for the rest of this campaign, should he prove his fitness on Tuesday. Key to that, however, will be the player demonstrating an improved attitude and a willingness to fight to regain his first-team place.

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