Frank Lampard feels Chelsea will be hit hard by Diego Costa’s departure

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard feels his former club have a tough task in hand of replacing Diego Costa during the summer transfer window.

The Spain international is most likely to leave Stamford Bridge following his public revelation that he is not wanted by manager Antonio Conte.

The Blues boss had a rift in training with the Spaniard back in January, and the two have since failed to sort the issue, though the differences were not displayed on the playing field. Conte is already on the search for a potential player to replace Costa, who could be heading back to Spain, and Lampard believes the 28-year-old would be a huge loss for the Premier League holders.

He told Sky Sports News: “He's a fantastic striker and we all saw that last season and since he's been at Chelsea. He would be very difficult to replace, there's no doubt about it. I don't know where Diego Costa's mind is, whether he wants to leave or not, that's all speculation. One thing that is for sure, is that you've got a great striker in him.”

Costa became only the third marksman to achieve the 20-goal mark in two separate seasons at Chelsea after Didier Drogba and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and this helped the Blues attain their sixth English title – the fifth overall in terms of the Premier League. Romelu Lukaku looks the probable option to replace Costa at Stamford Bridge next season, but the Belgian has surprisingly hit out on the speculation on social media suggesting that it is nonsense.

Chelsea start off their campaign with a Community Shield game against Arsenal in early August, and they could find themselves short of attacking options, should they fail to resolve the ongoing saga with Diego Costa. Eden Hazard suffered an ankle fracture while training with Belgium earlier in the month, and this will definitely rule him out for the first few weeks of the new season.