Chelsea striker Diego Costa has claimed that he has been made to feel like a criminal by the club and begged to “set free.”

He also accused manager Antonio Conte of lacking charisma and attacked the way the Italian had told the Spanish international by text that he had no future at Stamford Bridge.

Costa, 28, has refused Chelsea remands to return to London and is staying in his native Brazil and incurring club fines because he is not willing to train away from the first-team squad as he angles for a move back to Atletico Madrid.

“They want me there training with the reserves,” Costa tells the Daily Mail. “I wouldn’t be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact with the guys. I am not a criminal.

“I don’t think that is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.”

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Costa has not been at Chelsea since May’s FA Cup final and he is training alone in the remote town of Lagarto in north-east Brazil. He says he does not expect any further messages from Conte.

“You know the manager doesn’t want me. I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. I didn’t want to leave. I was happy.”

The way their relationship soured is amazing considering that Conte scored 20 goals as Chelsea clinched the title in Conte’s first season.

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But Costa says of Conte: “I respect him as a great coach. He has done a great job, I can see that. But as a person – no. He is not a coach who is very close with his players. He is very distant. He doesn’t possess charisma.”

And as for the infamous text messages, Costa said: “There are ways of going about it. You don’t do it by text message. You should be direct and honest to someone’s face.

Source: The Telegraph