Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has cooled talk of a move for Romelu Lukaku but admits Diego Costa’s future at the club is uncertain.
Conte has always maintained that Costa is firmly in his plans going forward and will not be sold, but, speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid, the Italian hinted the striker may well leave.
Rumours of a return to Atletico Madrid refuse to go away, and Conte did little to dampen them when quizzed about the striker’s future after the Real defeat.
“I can say that today Costa is a Chelsea player,” he said. “He didn’t play in these games because of injury and if he solves the injury and I see in training that he is in good shape it can be possible to see him in the next game against Milan.
“But I can say only this. I speak only for today and today Costa is Chelsea’s player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know.”
Should Costa leave, Everton striker Lukaku could be drafted in as a replacement, but again Conte did not want to say too much.
“I do not want to speak about the players of other teams,” said Conte, when asked directly about Lukaku. “This is not respectful to the club or to their players. I prefer not to speak.”