Estranged Chelsea striker Diego Costa has accused the club of treating him like a criminal after his falling out with manager Antonio Conte.
Costa scored 20 Premier League goals as Chelsea won the title last season but his relationship with Conte broke down and the coach made it clear the Spain striker is no longer wanted.
But Costa claims he has not been treated fairly by the club.
“They want me to be there training with the reserves,” Conte, who is in his native Brazil and not in London with his club, said in an interview with Daily Mail. “I wouldn’t be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact at all with the guys.
“I’m not a criminal! I don’t think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.
“They gave me a week extra off but since then it’s fines all the way. They want me training with the reserves. I am not going to do that. I am not a criminal and I am not in the wrong here. So, if they need to fine me, let them fine me.
“I take the hit every week but I’m not driven by money. The important thing is to be happy with how I live. I’m here with my parents and people who respect me.”
Costa, who claimed he was asked to leave Chelsea via a text message from Conte in June, is not planning a return to England, having set his mind on a return to Atletico Madrid in Spain, while considering legal action if Chelsea continue to block his exit.
He added: “If I have to I will stay in Brazil.
“I want people to do things the right way.
“Why won’t they let me go if they don’t want me? I have to do what I have to do. I have to think of myself. I’ve been a good boy here and tried to do the right thing.
“My desire is to go to Atletico (where he played from 2010-14). I’ve spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, ‘If the manager doesn’t want me, I want to go to Atletico Madrid’.
“I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. The language is better for me in Spain. If I’m off, I’m going to the club I want to go to — not the club that’s paying the most.
“Diego Simeone (Atletico manager) wants me. It is very clear. I have always had a bond with him. The fans and people love me there. They respect me.”
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