Costa omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad
LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa has been left out of Chelsea’s squad for the group stage of the Champions League amid uncertainty over the striker’s future.
Philippe Coutinho was included in Liverpool’s squad, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the forwards in Manchester United’s group even though he is currently injured and might not be available until the knockout stage.
Costa wants to move to former club Atletico Madrid after being told by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte during the offseason that he doesn’t feature in the Premier League champions’ plans.
The Spain international currently is in his native Brazil, but Chelsea has asked him to return to the club and fulfil the terms of his contract. Atletico is serving a transfer ban so Costa cannot move to the Spanish team until January at the earliest.
Not being included in Chelsea’s European squad means Costa will not be cup-tied for the tournament if he secures a mid-season transfer.
Coutinho put in a transfer request at Liverpool last month after the English club rejected bids from Barcelona for the Brazil playmaker. He hasn’t played for Liverpool so far this season, officially because of injury and illness, but came on and scored as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier for Brazil last week.
United manager Jose Mourinho had indicated that Ibrahimovic would be included in the team’s group-stage squad because there was space for the striker. The 35-year-old Ibrahimovic is recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in April and is unlikely to return before January.
Netherlands striker Vincent Janssen’s future at Tottenham looks bleak after being omitted from its squad, with new signing Fernando Llorente included in Janssen’s place.