The new Blues’ boss gave a brutally honest assessment of where his team are, and that Costa’s future is now shrouded in uncertainty now that Atletico Madrid have launched a £40million bid to take the striker back to Spain.
Costa has cut an unhappy figure during Chelsea ’s pre-season tour, with a back injury once again keeping him on the sidelines as Real Madrid’s reserves handed out a lesson in the Michigan Stadium.
And the belief in Madrid is that the 27-year-old wants to return to Atletico after two years at Stamford Bridge.
Conte admitted: “I can say today that Costa is a Chelsea player.
“He didn’t play in this game because of injury and if he solves this injury and I see him in training and he is in good shape, then it can be possible to see him in our next game against Milan.
“I speak for today and today Costa is a Chelsea player. Tomorrow, if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know.”
Conte wants to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the Bridge, but Everton will resist his overtures unless Chelsea meet their £75million valuation.
“I don’t want to speak about players of other teams,” added Conte when Lukaku’s name was put to him.