Diego Costa will not be part of Chelsea’s season-opener against Burnley this weekend, just 81 days after he celebrated winning the Premier League title with the rest of the squad.
The 28-year-old Spain international, who scored 20 league goals for the Blues, remains exiled from the club after Conte told him he has no future at Stamford Bridge.
Costa has not been to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground since the end of last season and is currently in his hometown of Lagarto in Brazil just days before the new season begins.
At the Premier League launch in Central London on Wednesday, Conte would not be drawn into a discussion about Costa’s future, insisting his position is “the same” as it has been all summer.
“I think I was very clear,” he said. “It’s not important to repeat it.”
The Italian would have to choose either or both Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi, as they begin their title defence.
“Alvaro is a really good player, he’s still young despite having a lot of experience,” he said.
“He needs to play regularly, he’s a player I trust a lot.
“I think he has good prospects for Chelsea – for now and the future. Will he start this weekend? He’s working very well and starting to understand or idea of football.”
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