Joey Barton claims Diego Costa is trying to force Chelsea to sack him.
The Spain international striker is currently in self-imposed exile in his native Brazil and is refusing to return to Stamford Bridge after falling out with manager Antonio Conte.
And Barton, who was co-hosting the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Monday morning, reckons the 28-year-old is aiming to force his way out of the west London club.
“I think [Diego] Costa is trying to get himself sacked, that’s the reality of it,” he said. “If he gets sacked that frees him to get the move he wants to Atletico Madrid. It’s wrong but this is what happens when you sign players from far-flung places, they’ve got no attachment.
“He’s never going to live in London, he’s going to go and live in Spain or Brazil, and he wants out. He thinks he’s been disrespectfully treated by Chelsea and Conte and the way they’ve handled it [the situation]. Didn’t they tell him via text he’s not needed?
“No matter what you say about Costa he’s been good for Chelsea for the last couple of years. He arguably won them the league last season, among other players, and he’s really disillusioned with Chelsea’s behaviour towards him.” (TalksSport)