Saturday 14 December 2019

'If they don’t want to play for the football club any more, so what?' - Paul Scholes responds to Diego Costa situation

Diego Costa was left out of the squad against Leicester
Diego Costa was left out of the squad against Leicester
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Scholes has insisted that Diego Costa should be allowed to leave Chelsea and insisted he would never have gone out of his way to persuade a player to stay at Manchester United during his long spell at Old Trafford.

Costa missed Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Leicester on Saturday amid widespread reports of a bust-up with the Blues coaching staff and suggestions that he has been offered a huge wage to move to China.

Yet Scholes has stressed that he would never have tried to encourage an unsettled team-mate to stay at United, and suggested players who show a lack of commitment to a club should be ushered to the exit door.

When asked whether he was tempted to try and persuade Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney to stay at United when both were agitating for moves, he offered this direct response: “No not one bit…why,” he told BT Sport.

“They are old enough to make their own minds up and if they don’t want to play for the football club any more, so what?

“My job was to go out and win the game with my team-mates and whoever is playing, I don’t care as long as we win.”

Scholes was then asked whether he would have rejected a move away from United, even if he was offered £50,000-a-week more to join a rival club.

“I’m not talking money here, but I was at the biggest football club in the world anyway,” he stated. “I lived 20 minutes from the ground, a club I loved as a kid. £300,000 a week…I wouldn’t have gone anyway. We were winning trophies every season.”

Scholes also backed Chelsea boss Antonio Conte as he tried to deflect attention away from the Costa storm by claiming he missed the game at Leicester due to a back injury, as he reflected it was a tactic used by his former boss Alex Ferguson.

“Behind closed doors, it should stay there and it should be dealt there,” he added. “You have to support your players as a manager, you have to do that. I think he is doing exactly the right thing.”

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