Pundit worried things could get “ugly” for Chelsea and Costa

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness is concerned that there could be trouble ahead for Chelsea if the club do not offload Diego Costa before the transfer deadline at the end of the month.

The striker’s future at Stamford Bridge looks bleak given that he was not welcomed back for pre-season training.

It has become clear that manager Antonio Conte does not see Costa in his plans for the upcoming Premier League campaign.

However, a club spokesman – via The Telegraph – has described claims that Conte told Costa in a text message that he is no longer wanted at the club as “nonsense”.

The situation is getting messy given that lawyers are now involved, but it remains unclear where Costa will be playing football this season.

A return to Atletico Madrid has been mooted, while AC Milan have also appeared as rumoured suitors for the controversial striker’s signature.

Souness has had his say on the situation, and believes that the senior players in the dressing room need to make sure that Costa does not become a problem for the entire group.

The Scotsman wrote in The Times:

“If Chelsea can’t move Costa on in the next few months it will require the senior players to bring him into line before it gets ugly. I would be looking to the likes of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas – established players with a good command of English.

“That’s how dressing rooms should be run: the senior pros take care of small problems before they become headaches that distract the manager from doing his job.”