Chelsea FC transfer news: Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa to miss Blues’ pre-season tour amid exit rumours

15 Jul

Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa appear likely to miss Chelsea’s pre-season tour as negotiations take place over their possible exits.

It is understood midfielder Matic and striker Costa are probable absentees from the Premier League champions’ tour to Asia, which begins next week.

Matic has been linked with Manchester United and Juventus, with Chelsea apparently closing in on his replacement.

French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko posted a photograph from the Premier League champions’ training ground on Friday, featuring the caption “soon” and has been linked with a £40million move from Monaco.

Costa has long been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, despite playing an integral role in the title triumph last term, and was granted permission to miss the start of pre-season training this week.

It has also been reported that defender Kurt Zouma could miss the tour, with a season-long loan move to Stoke possible.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea squad play Arsenal on July 22 in Beijing and have games with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Singapore on July 25 and July 29, respectively.

The Blues may favour Matic moving to Serie A. United’s purchase of striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton may strengthen the resolve of Chelsea not to sell to a direct rival and reunite the Serbia midfielder with Jose Mourinho.

Costa, meanwhile, apparently has his heart set on a return to Atletico Madrid, from whom he joined Chelsea in July 2014 for £32m.

Atletico are currently banned from signing players and that would prevent Costa playing for them until January.

After missing out on Lukaku, Conte’s search for a striker to succeed Costa goes on, but he seems to have already identified the midfielder to succeed Matic.

Bakayoko, 22, helped drive Monaco to the Ligue 1 title last season and also into the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Bakayoko uploaded a photo to his social media accounts on Friday of the Chelsea training pitches, with the caption “soon”.

He could become the Blues’ third summer signing following the arrival of centre-back Antonio Rudiger from Roma and veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero, on a free transfer, from Manchester City.

Midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah this week joined Watford, following Bournemouth pair Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake out of Stamford Bridge.

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