Lampard: Tying down Conte would be Chelsea's most important signing of summer

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In a separate report, Lewis wrote Atletico could bring in Costa and send him out on loan during the first half of the 2017-18 season, before registering him in January.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is adamant not to leave the club this summer although Antonio Conte has maintained he is not part of his plans next season according to the Daily Star.

The Spanish global, linked with Atletico Madrid last summer, is set to return to his spiritual home despite Federation Internationale de Football Association imposing a one-window transfer ban on the Rojiblancos. Costa has not mentioned any other club besides Atletico.

Atletico are reluctant to pay more than £20m for a striker who was Chelsea's top-scorer last season.

But given Chelsea's dire need to offload the striker, Atletico could table an offer less than the Blues' valuation, and they could see it accepted as Costa is doing all he can to move away from Stamford Bridge.


Conte, who previously managed Juventus in Serie A, turned down an offer to move back to his home country to take charge of Inter Milan this summer.

Equally, the prospect of keeping him at Chelsea for six months is risky.

Chelsea will start a tour to Asia a week later with the first open-doors friendly planned, against Arsenal, in Beijing, on July 22.

Chelsea have agreed to sign Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero on a free transfer which will be announced on July 1, while they are hopeful of signing Tiemoue Bakayoko for a fee in excess of £40 million (S$70.2 million).

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