Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is ready to offload star striker Diego Costa in the summer
The Sun have reported that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is ready to sell star striker Diego Costa in the summer, with the Spain international keen on linking up with Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
Diego Costa has had a mixed bag of fortunes during his time at Chelsea. The Spain international enjoyed a stellar debut campaign at Stamford Bridge, as he scored 20 goals in 26 Premier League games to lead the Blues to the title.
But that was followed by a dismal second season, as Costa managed to score just 12 goals in 28 Premier League games, with Chelsea finishing 10th in their disastrous title defence. 2016/17, though, has seen Chelsea and Costa go back to their best in what is turning out to be a successful campaign.
The West London club are running away with the Premier League title, and the 28-year-old has found the back of the net 17 times in 25 matches, with only Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku scoring more goals that the hitman.
But despite the successes of Costa this season, it has emerged that Chelsea are ready to offload their star striker when the transfer window reopens in June, despite reports that a new deal could be in the offing.
That is because Antonio Conte is eyeing a squad rejig, as he intends to shape the side in his mould in the summer, and Costa does not seem to be part of his plans.
Thus, the Chelsea boss and technical director Michael Emenalo have decided to sell Costa, who himself is keen on a move to Real Madrid, as per the report. Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata are being linked with an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu, which could open up a place in the first team picture next season.
With Costa at the peak of his powers, and with Benzema struggling to match his best performance levels, the 28-year-old could be just the solution Zidane is looking for in attack, as he moves on both Benzema and Morata in the summer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are reported to be eyeing deals to bring Lukaku and Morata come June, with both players believed to be eager to move to Stamford Bridge as well. So, there’s an indication that Conte could be inching towards strikers who offer more mobility in his quick, counter-attacking based system.
Lukaku (23) and Morata (24) would also be long-term solutions in attack for the Chelsea boss, as he prepares to build a team that is a force in Europe once again. So, the plans might already be in motion for Conte to stamp his image at Stamford Bridge, and it could kick in with the sale of Costa come June.