A Chelsea club spokesman has called claims that Antonio Conte forced Diego Costa out of the squad via text message at the end of last season 'just nonsense'.
The Spain striker's lawyer, Ricardo Cardoso, has threatened legal action over the Blues' handling of his client's high-profile exile from the squad and seemingly imminent departure, as Costa looks to secure a return to former club Atletico Madrid.
However, both Chelsea and manager Antonio Conte have come out swinging and denied the allegations that Conte only informed Costa that he was not wanted in June in a text message, claiming that Costa was made aware of the manager's plans in January.
A club spokesman said, as quoted by the Telegraph: “The premise the lawyer has put forward is just wrong. The decision on Diego was made back in January. The player knew the decision, his agent knew the decision. Clearly, the lawyer has not been well informed.
“The lawyer’s argument that Antonio, as a coach, has forced the player out by text message in June is just nonsense.”
Speaking ahead of the Community Shield on Sunday, Conte added: “For me it’s very simple, the situation. I repeat what I said in the past, maybe 10 days ago.
“I don’t understand why lawyers are getting involved. I don’t understand this. The situation is very clear and is always the same.”
While Atletico Madrid appears Costa's preferred transfer destination, the path to the Spanish capital is made more difficult by Atleti's FIFA imposed 'transfer ban', which prohibits the club from registering new players until 2018.
However, despite the sanction Diego Simeone's side have still managed to complete a deal for Sevilla winger Vitolo, who will join up with his new teammates in January after spending the first half of the 2017/18 season on loan with Las Palmas.