Diego Costa is the happiest player in the Chelsea dressing room, manager Jose Mourinho said as he scoffed at reports the striker wanted to return to Spain after one season in London.
Spanish newspapers reported yesterday that the Brazilian-born international, who joined Chelsea for £32m last year, had spoken to Atletico Madrid about returning to the club.
“He’s the guy responsible for everything good we have in the dressing room. He’s so happy, he’s so funny, he’s enjoying every minute,” Mourinho said after the English champions beat Sydney FC 1-0 in the final match of their season, the game being settled by a 31st minute Loic Remy strike.
“He’s the happiest guy in the dressing room so if this is unhappiness, I’m happy with that.
“I think he was not happy with the news and I think in his bad English he has to try and address that he’s not happy with the news.”
Costa was named Man of the Match despite being substituted before the end of the first half of the friendly that attracted more than 83,000 fans to Sydney’s Olympic stadium. Mourinho was scathing of home-grown midfielder Reuben Loftus-Cheek who replaced Costa but was substituted himself half an hour later.
“He has to learn that at 19 you have to run three times as much as the other guys and you have to play in your limits and you don’t have to play like a superstar with the ball at your feet because this is not the under-18s,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t accept that a player ... when we don’t have the ball, doesn’t press, he doesn’t have intensity and he is waiting for other people to
recover the ball.”