Wednesday 21 February 2018

'My relationship with Conte didn’t start well' - Diego Costa reveals how close he came to leaving Chelsea

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (L) embraces Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on February 4, 2017. / AFP / Ian KINGTON /
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (L) embraces Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on February 4, 2017. / AFP / Ian KINGTON /

Miguel Delaney

Diego Costa has said he had to go to Antonio Conte “with his tail between his legs” after “doing everything” to try and engineer a move back to Atletico Madrid in the summer, only for the La Liga club to leave him frustrated to the point he said he would not fight so hard to get back again.

In a typically candid interview with El Largero on Madrid’s Cadena Ser, the Spanish international re-iterated that he greatly wanted to go back to the Vicente Calderon in the summer, but this time revealed that he got fed up with Atletico’s unwillingness to wait for a move.

Once it became clear that they were not going to fight until the end of the window, he had to go back to the just-arrived Chelsea boss Conte in a conciliatory manner, having previously told him he wanted to go back to the club he left for Stamford Bridge in 2014.

“My relationship with Conte didn’t start well because, on his arrival, I told him I wanted to go to Atletico Madrid,” Costa said. “Atletico didn’t wait for me when they should have waited for me, and I did everything to return to Atletico.

“When Atletico didn’t wait for me, I had to go to Conte with my tail between my legs… if they wanted me, they had to wait, to not be afraid. There was still a month to go, but that didn’t happen… I am not angry or anything. But, at that moment, I did everything to come. I won’t fight like that again.”

Costa also joked about the January reports he would go to the Chinese Super League, laughing “I haven’t learned English… I am going to learn Chinese.”

(© Independent News Service)

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