Sunday 17 December 2017

Chelsea are prepared to go to great lengths to get Diego Costa ready for the exit door

Diego Costa frozen out by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Photo: PA.
Diego Costa frozen out by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Photo: PA.

John Percy

Chelsea are considering a personal fitness regime for Diego Costa as the striker's departure from the Premier League champions edges closer.

Costa's career at Stamford Bridge is over and Antonio Conte has already told him that he will not be permitted to train with Chelsea's first team at their Cobham base.

Costa has yet to return for pre-season training but, with Atletico Madrid and AC Milan hopeful of signing him, Chelsea are prepared to send the 28-year-old on a special training programme to help speed up his transfer.

Chelsea's squad return to training today after being given a few days off following their return from Singapore.

Conte, who already spent around €150m this summer, has made it clear that he still wants more reinforcements.

Juventus left-back Alex Sandro is a priority target, while Leicester's Danny Drinkwater has now been added to Chelsea's wishlist as they look to increase their quota of British players.

Option

Elsewhere, Manchester City have insisted on a €56m buy-back option for Kelechi Iheanacho as the striker closes in on his protracted €28m move to Leicester.

Iheanacho had a medical at Leicester's training ground yesterday and is finally set to join them in the next 48 hours after the deal was held up by a row with his former agents over image rights.

It is understood that Leicester have secured Iheanacho's signature ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Monaco, and the deal represents a huge coup for manager Craig Shakespeare.

The 20-year-old Nigeria international could make his Leicester debut in Friday's friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach at the King Power Stadium.

Brazilian midfielder Fernando is also on his way out of City and is expected to join Turkish club Galatasaray.

Alexis Sanchez could play a part in Arsenal's Community Shield clash against Chelsea on Sunday after returning to training.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are looking at Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and Juventus' Paulo Dybala as potential replacements for Paris Saint-Germain-bound Neymar. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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