Antonio Conte hits out at Diego Costa as he explains “the truth” behind striker’s Chelsea exit

Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hit out at Diego Costa for the reasons he pushed to leave the club back in 2017.

The Spain international shone under Conte in the 2016/17 season as Chelsea won the Premier League title and reached the FA Cup final, but their time together ended up being unfortunately fleeting.

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Conte has now revealed what he feels is the truth behind what went on with Costa as he eventually ended up returning to former club Atletico Madrid.

The Italian tactician has hit out at Costa for simply wanting to chase a bigger contract, and says he’d rather not have players working for him 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 is now in charge of Inter Milan and it’s interesting to see what he has to say about his time at Chelsea in this Telegraph interview.

The 51-year-old certainly got off to a superb start at Stamford Bridge before things strangely fell apart in his second season, and it seems the Costa row was one of a number of things that went wrong for him.

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