Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Conte slams Diego Costa as he reveals “the truth” behind player’s Chelsea exit

Former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has slammed Diego Costa for the reasons he pushed to leave back in 2017.

The Spanish striker shone under Conte in the 2016/17 campaign as the blues won the Premier League and the FA Cup final, but their time together ended up being unfortunately fleeting.

Conte has now revealed what he believes is the truth behind what went on with the player as he eventually returned to his former team Atletico Madrid.

The Italian manager has hit out at Costa for wanting to chase a bigger contract, and says he does not want players who would rather be somewhere else.

Speaking to the Telegraph about the Costa saga, Conte said: “First of all, I am a person that doesn’t want to speak badly about a situation with a player from a club that I trained. It’s right always to keep good memories and I prefer to keep good memories also about Diego Costa because we won together a league title in an incredible season.

“But, for sure, the truth, we know the truth. The player, his agent, the club and I. We know how many times he asked to go away to Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, during the season to go to China, and at the end of the season to join, again, Atletico Madrid.

“This is the truth and, honestly, in my career I want to have players who are concentrated on my team and not to consider my team a second choice. My team must be the first choice.

“It was an incredible season and I managed, together with the club, the Diego Costa situation in the best possible way. But, in the end, the truth was only that the player wanted to leave many times to Atletico Madrid and during the season to go to China because he wanted the best contract.”

Conte got off to a good start at Stamford Bridge before things fell apart in his second year, and it seems the Costa row was one of a number of things that went wrong for the Italian.

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