Chelsea striker Diego Costa has expressed his disapproval concerning the club's treatment of him this summer and said he is “not a criminal” as he hope for a move to Atletico Madrid.
Costa claims he was told he was not wanted by the Italian manager Antonio Conte via text message in the summer, has yet to exit Stamford Bridge but did not return from his post-season break.
The 28-year-old said he was happy at the club until Conte made it clear he had no future in his team, and now wants to return to his former club he left in 2014 before joining Chelsea.
Costa said he is yet to report for training as he does not want to train with the Chelsea's reserves, and is enjoying his stay in Brazil and paying club fines until his future is decided.
“I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. I didn’t want to leave. I was happy. When the manager does not want you, you have to go,” he told the Daily Mail.
“In January, things happened with the coach. I was on the brink of renewing my contract and they put the brakes on it. I suspect the manager was behind it.
“They gave me a week extra off but since then it’s fines all the way. They want me training with the reserves. I am not going to do that.
“I am not a criminal and I am not in the wrong here. So, if they need to fine me, let them fine me.”
The striker, who said he feels Conte “doesn’t possess charisma”, was not happy with the way he was told to leave.
He added: “There are ways of going about it. You don’t do it by text message. You should be honest and direct to someone’s face.”
The playermaker hopes to sort his future as fast as possible but is ready to miss a year of playing rather than move somewhere other than Atletico, who are under a transfer embargo until January.
He said: “My desire is to go to Atletico. I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. If I’m off, I’m going to the club I want to go to, not the club that’s paying the most.
“I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don’t pay me. I’ll come back stronger. If I was in the wrong, I’d go back now and do as they say.”