Diego Costa has been omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad, while Zlatan IBrahimovic has been included in Manchester United’s list despite the veteran striker not being expected to return from injury until the new year.
Costa was included in Chelsea’s official Premier League list, but has been left out of their 25-man squad for European competition.
The 28-year-old is yet to return to Chelsea for the new season, having remained in Brazil in a bid to force a move to Atlético Madrid. Atlético’s transfer ban means the Spain forward cannot move until January at the earliest.
Costa remains a Chelsea player after the close of the summer transfer window, and the Blues still want him back at the club.
Former Atlético striker Costa claimed Chelsea had treated him like a “criminal” in insisting he would not return to west London, but manager Antonio Conte has since laughed off those remarks.
Chelsea missed out on signing Fernando Llorente, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley in a frenetic end to the transfer window.
The return of a fit, focused and compliant Costa would doubtless strengthen boss Conte’s hand, but Chelsea have left the door open to a mid-season move by omitting the Spain striker from their European ranks.
Costa would avoid being cup tied if he does not make any European appearance for Chelsea, making him a more attractive signing for Atlético in the new year.
While Chelsea want their employee to return to the club and fulfil the terms of his contract, his omission from the Champions League ranks serves as another reminder of his exiled status at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic, who re-joined United on a one-year deal until the end of the season last month, has been included in Mourinho’s 25-man list but remains unlikely to feature until the knockout stages.
Tottenham, who will face holders Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel in Group H, also sprung a surprise by leaving out Holland striker Vincent Janssen and Argentina forward Erik Lamela.
England defender Nathaniel Clyne has also been omitted by Liverpool, who include Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho.