David Luiz believes that Antonio Conte is ‘punishing him’ for his friendship with former Chelsea striker Diego Costa, according to reports.
Luiz was dropped from Chelsea’s matchday squad for the 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
The Brazilian was thought to have angered Conte by privately questioning his tactics in the wake of the 3-0 defeat to Roma, having complained about being substituted in the 3-3 draw against the same side a fortnight earlier.
Luiz was then made ball boy during Chelsea’s training session ahead of the United game, for which he was banished to the stands.
According to The Times, Luiz feels that his friendship with Costa, who infamously fell out with Conte before being sold this summer, is the cause of the rift.
Matt Hughes writes that Luiz ‘interceded on behalf of his former team-mate’ during an argument between the pair last season.
The 30-year-old is now ‘concerned’ that ‘his association with Costa could be held against him’, having played peacemaker last campaign.
However, ‘Chelsea sources insist that Conte’s treatment of Luiz is not related to Costa’. So there’s that.