Those are the thoughts of former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend.
Costa has been exiled from the Blues squad and he is currently training in Brazil alone.
The Blues want the Spaniard to return to training immediately, but so far the 28-year-old has refused.
Atletico Madrid have been heavily linked with a move to bring Costa back to La Liga, although they are forbidden from signing players due to their transfer embargo.
And Townsend reckons Costa should be back at Stamford Bridge to wind up Conte.
“As a player, if he wanted to get under Conte’s skin and get out of the club, he should have come back. He should be here with a big smile on his face every day,” Townsend told Sky Sports.
“Conte looks like the type of man that thinks ‘if you get in the way of what I really want to do every day, you are going to bug me and annoy me’.
“And I’d be knocking on the owner’s door asking him to take the problem away.
“But sitting in Brazil, he’s not a problem to Conte.
“If a move happens tomorrow, are you telling me he’s in the best shape to turn up at a new club and start playing? Of course he’s not.
“I think the player has done this wrong. Forget the text, so what if he was hurt by it?
“He should have come back, he should get himself ready to go but he should make it absolutely clear to Conte that he doesn’t want to stay and play for him.
“If he said that, I’m sure things would start moving a bit quicker. All of this bravado from the other side of the world isn’t getting him anywhere quick.
“Do your work, do your training, pick your wages up, appear to be a good pro on the face of it and be ready for selection but you can make it loud and clear in other ways that your time is done.
“The communication here has got so lost along the line. To be champions one minute and when there is a dearth of fantastic No 9’s around the world, he is one of them.
“As an asset, Chelsea are losing millions on this guy. It defies any logic really.”