Saturday 18 November 2017

'He is very happy with us' - Antonio Conte says Diego Costa row is in the past

Antonio Conte and Diego Costa
Antonio Conte and Diego Costa

Jack Austin

Diego Costa wants to stay at Chelsea, according to Antonio Conte, and he will be available for Sunday’s Premier League game against Hull City.

Costa was left out of last week’s win at Leicester after a row with Conte and his fitness coach after apparently having his head turned by a £30m-a-year offer from China.

As a result he was made to train alone for two days, although both Conte and the club insisted this was because of a back injury and was all a part of his recovery.

“He is very happy with us,” Conte said. “I don’t see a problem.

“Every week I have a chat with my players, a simple chat. The player wants to stay at Chelsea. I heard a lot of speculation about Diego, but the most important thing is that he has trained with us this week, he does not have any pain in his back and can play.

"He is an important player for us and we all know this. When he stays in good form he has always played with me."

When asked if Costa would play against Hull, which would be his 100th appearance for the club, Conte said: “I will see on Sunday. It’s a great achievement and I hope to celebrate it with a win.

“Diego is a good player and a good person and now he is only focused on Chelsea and playing for us.

“It’s a task to pick the best players game by game. If someone stays out it’s not for punishment. It’s a difficult situation.”

There were reports that Costa had turned down a contract offer from the Blues as they were set to offer him a pay rise for his form so far this season.

Asked if a new deal was still a possibility, Conte replied: “Now is better to be focused on the present, not the future.”

Conte also confirmed that Chelsea had received a bid for backup goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, but did not disclose which club had lodged it and insisted the Bosnian was a “very important player”, but that he and club would “evaluate” the offer.

Independent News Service

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