Doubts were cast over Diego Costa's Chelsea career on Friday after the Spain striker was reportedly dropped for Saturday's away match with champions Leicester after a bust-up with Antonio Conte and fitness coach Julio Tous.
The 28-year-old Spanish international, who has scored 14 goals in 19 games this season, is believed to have been involved in a fracas at the club over his fitness and has not trained all week.
Costa was also involved in an on-field spat with Spain teammate Pedro in Chelsea's loss to Spurs last weekend.
The bombshell news came after the Brazil-born, naturalised Spaniard was linked with a lucrative salary offer from a Chinese club worth over 30 million euros a year.
Only last month Conte had been singing the player's praises saying he was a reformed character from the one who had sulked his way through the previous unhappy campaign.
Many fans blamed the temperamental striker for causing Jose Mourinho's sacking.
"I'm happy for him because he is showing great passion. In every game he is showing great commitment and work rate to help the team," Conte said. "It's fantastic and it's important to continue this way. Diego for sure is a great striker. He is enjoying playing his football. Now he is showing his passion in the right way."
Abramovich not willing to sell
Costa signed a five-year deal on his arrival in July 2014 for £32million which leaves two-and-a-half years to run on his contract and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is believed to be unwilling to sell him.
His goals have been instrumental in Chelsea going on a 13 match winning run in the Premier League which was brought to an end by the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
In his absence on Saturday, Belgian star Eden Hazard could replace him up front as he did against Bournemouth when the Spaniard was suspended.
However, regardless of Abramovich's determination not to offload him, one English bookmaker cut the price of his leaving in the January transfer window to 2/1.