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Costa, Matic miss Chelsea preseason amid exit rumors


during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 23, 2016 in London, England.

Mike Hewitt

Two key pieces from Chelsea’s Premier League winning campaign a season ago are missing from the club’s preseason tour in Asia.

[ MORE: Man City acquires Kyle Walker in reported record deal ]

Does it mean something? It certainly looks like it.

[ MORE: Chalobah leaves Blues to join Watford ]

Striker Diego Costa and holding midfielder Nemanja Matic are the absentees for the Blues, who will begin their tour of Asia next week.

Costa has undergone a tumultuous summer with the reigning champions after revealing alleged text messages from manager Antonio Conte that stated the Italian no longer required the striker’s services at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, former Blues manager Jose Mourinho has appeared keen on bringing Matic to Old Trafford this summer in an attempt to fill a defensive midfield role for the future once captain Michael Carrick is gone.

Matic is also reportedly being monitored by Juventus and Inter Milan of Serie A, which would be a favorable destination for Chelsea to sell the Serbian to after the team felt it was hijacked in signing striker Romelu Lukaku -- who wound up at Manchester United.

The Blues have been reported to be shopping several top-tier strikers to replace Costa, including Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata.

Conte has been relatively quiet in the transfer market this summer, signing goalkeeper Willy Caballero and Roma defender Antonio Rudiger to this point. Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko appears to be the club’s third signing ahead of the 2017/18 season, but an official deal with the Blues has yet to be announced.

Chelsea will play Arsenal on July 22 in Beijing, before the English champions take on Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Singapore on July 25 and 29, respectively.