Pundit says Costa career is ‘finished’ if move to China comes off

Former Chelsea player and assistant coach Ray Wilkins has warned Diego Costa that his football career is over if he moves to the Chinese Super League.

The Spain international is the latest high-profile name to be linked with a lucrative move to the Far East.

Costa was dropped from Antonio Conte’s matchday squad for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Leicester City, with the Chelsea camp citing fitness issues.

However, according to Sky Sports, the decision was made following an alleged training ground bust-up between Costa and Conte.

The broadcaster reports that Costa is receiving staggering salary offers of around £30m a year, and he is not the first Chelsea player to have his head turned.

Ramires left for the Chinese Super League last year, while Oscar and John Obi Mikel recently upped sticks and moved.

When asked for his thoughts on Costa possibly going to China, Wilkins told Sky Sports:

“If it’s financial, and he wants to move to China, then I don’t quite understand it to be perfectly honest.

“I think as a footballer if you’re going to go to China, now at 28 years of age, you’re basically saying, like Oscar, your career is finished. You’re going there for the finance. Aren’t these young men earning enough in this country to enjoy playing their football?”

The striker is joint Premier League top scorer alongside Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez on 14 goals.