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Chelsea Replies Costa demands striker Diego Costa returns to club and gets match fit

Chelsea have responded firmly to Diego Costa claims of maltreatment, demanding the striker return to training and get himself fit for first-team selection.

The Premier League champions have been forced to respond after Costa gave an interview from his home in Brazil where he claimed that Chelsea had treated him “like a criminal” over his desire to leave the club this summer.

It is understood Chelsea have made four demands of the player if he is to restore relations that have been badly soured even before this weekend’s interview.

The first is straightforward, that he should return to the club. The second is that he should report for training, the third that he get match fit and the fourth, and most surprising, that he put himself into contention for first-team selection.

The 28-year-old has been in dispute with Chelsea’s coach, Antonio Conte, since the turn of the year when the Brazilian-born Spain international was upbraided for a row with the fitness coach Julio Tous. After a disappointing second half to last season, Conte told the player he was surplus to requirements by text message, the contents of which Costa then made public.

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