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AC Milan unwilling to meet Diego Costa’s wage demands

Chelsea’s hopes of finding a quick and easy resolution to Antonio Conte’s decision to dump Diego Costa by text have been hit by AC Milan’s…

Chelsea’s hopes of finding a quick and easy resolution to Antonio Conte’s decision to dump Diego Costa by text have been hit by AC Milan’s reluctance to meet the striker’s current wage demands. 

Costa’s agent Jorge Mendes met with AC Milan officials on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the 28-year-old revealed Conte had sent him a message to say he was no longer part of Chelsea’s plans. 

But Costa is demanding over £200,000-a-week to move to Italy, more than AC Milan are willing to pay. 

The Serie A club are also lukewarm on the idea of a loan deal, as they want their star summer signing to join permanently. 

A solution could yet be found as AC Milan are keen on Costa, but they are also chasing Torino striker Andrea Belotti and Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic,  whose wage demands they could meet. 

Chelsea would ideally like to avoid a summer saga over Costa developing and could yet be forced to subsidise his wages at another club. But Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban, which is in place until January, has made a deal difficult to negotiate. 

Costa has also claimed he is no longer interested in a lucrative move to China, although he may yet have to re-think that stance if a European buyer cannot be found for this summer. 

Chelsea’s attempts to come up with an exit strategy for Costa are not stalling their bid for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, with talks ongoing between the two clubs. 

Costa appears to have killed off any remote possibility of repairing his relationship with Conte by sending the Italian’s text around some of his stunned Chelsea team-mates. It is understood Costa took a screenshot of his exchange with Conte and forwarded it on to a number of his friends and colleagues at the club. 

Sources in Spain claim Conte’s text to Costa read: “Hi Diego, I hope you are well. Thanks for the seasono [sic] we spent together. Good luck for the next year, but you are not in my plan.” 

It is alleged that Costa simply replied: “Ok.” 

Conte will be furious to find out that what he believed to be a private exchange has now been shared among a number of people, including some outside Chelsea. 

It also raises further question marks over Conte’s decision to take matters into his own hands and dump Costa by text, with the move weakening Chelsea’s negotiating position and potentially costing the club millions. 

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