Pedro fears Costa exit

Chelsea forward Pedro admits that he is dreading the possible loss of Diego Costa – a player whose combination of strength and speed makes him difficult to replace.

Costa, the club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons, appears set to leave London following news that Antonio Conte had informed him via a text message that he was not part of his plans at Stamford Bridge next season.

The 28-year old is reportedly being targeted by former club Atletico Madrid, who are said to be working on a deal despite their current transfer ban preventing them from registering any new players until January 2018.

In conversation with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Pedro spoke of his admiration for his Blues team-mate, highlighting the qualities that make him such a formidable presence on the football pitch.

"We will see what happens to Diego, but we don't know," the Spain international said. "He is obviously a very important player in attack for us.

"He has scored the majority of the goals for us this season. He is a player feared by defenders because he is fast. He scores with ease.

"Diego gives you an added strength and more so in this league, because he is strong, he scores and he has good physical condition.

"If eventually it is confirmed that he will not continue with us, it will be a very big loss for us."