Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has delivered an emphatic answer on the future of striker Diego Costa by insisting that he doesn’t want him to leave.
The Spanish forward endured a difficult second season with Chelsea last year, which in turn resulted in him missing out on Euro 2016.
A return to Atletico Madrid has been touted in recent weeks, but it is clear that Conte believes that the 27-year-old has a major role to play for him at Stamford Bridge moving forward.
“Diego Costa is our player, he’s a fantastic player with fundamental importance,” Conte insisted at a press conference ahead of Chelsea’s next pre-season friendly. “He’s very happy and is working hard.”
With so many conflicting reports regarding Costa, it has certainly been difficult to keep up with whether or not he remains happy in London and if the club have a place for him moving forward.
Based on Conte’s comments, it appears as though the latter has been answered as the former Italy and Juventus boss will hope that the Spaniard can lead the line this season.
Costa has three years remaining on his contract with the Premier League outfit and according to ESPN FC, returned to pre-season training this summer much leaner and fitter as he looks to put a difficult period of his career behind him.
The report goes on to add that while he remains a popular figure in the dressing room, he has been effected by the scrutiny he has come under from the British media and in turn has failed to fully settle into life in England.
Nevertheless, ESPN FC go on to add that relations between Chelsea and Atleti have soured following the Spanish club’s attempts to unsettle the player, despite president Enrique Cerezo dismissing quotes attributed to him suggesting that a deal to take the striker back to the Spanish capital was close, as noted by AS.