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Costa: Chelsea return would not be fair situation

Diego Costa does not feel he would have an "honest fight" for a place in the Chelsea team if he was to return to Stamford Bridge.

Costa was Chelsea's top scorer as he collected a second Premier League title in three years last season but the Spain striker's career in west London is now seemingly beyond repair after a breakdown in relations between himself and head coach Antonio Conte.

The 28-year-old is currently AWOL in Brazil, having been fined by Chelsea for missing training.

Nevertheless, he views the alternative of returning to work with the reserve team, as the stand-off between himself and Conte remains, to be a non-starter.

"I was always meant to turn up with the group, but they were already saying that I'm going to have to come back and train with the reserves," he told ESPN Brasil.

"I said that this was a lack of respect. We won the league and I haven't done anything so serious to deserve being treated in that way."

Costa has expressed displeasure over Conte informing him via text message in June that he would not be part of his plans for this season, although Chelsea maintain the forward has been aware of this state of affairs since January.

"It won't be the same as before [between him and Conte], and we don't know if the fight for the position will be fair," Costa said.

"Because of me having exposed the [text] message I understand that he'll be annoyed, so if I go back I have to see if things would be clean, just and correct.

"That's how I like things. If I go back now I don't think it will be a fair situation. It won't be an honest fight for a position [in the team]."

Costa is keen on a return to Atletico Madrid and urged his former club to make a "big effort" to sign him, while voicing fears Chelsea are pricing him out of a move back to LaLiga.

Chelsea made Alavaro Morata their record signing before the start of the campaign and Costa's replacement came off the bench to score during last weekend's 3-2 loss at home to Burnley.