I Fuck Don’t Care About Costa – Chelsea Boss Speaks on Striker’s Absence in 3-0 Win Over Leicester, Move to China
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has played down the row over Diego Costa, insisting he did not play against Leicester because of a back injury.
We had reported earlier on Saturday that the Spain striker had been dropped for the trip to the King Power after arguing with Conte and two fitness coaches in training on Tuesday.
Conte is understood to have ended the spat by telling Costa to “go to China”, with the striker apparently unsettled by a £30m-per-year offer from a Super League club, and he did not train with the first team for the rest of the week.
But, after his side won 3-0 at the Foxes, Conte insisted he is not aware of any interest from China and a back injury “is the truth”, and he will assess Costa when the team returns to training on Tuesday.
The Italian said: “If you want to know the truth. I am ready to tell the truth. On Tuesday, during the training session, Diego stopped because he felt a pain in his back, and from that moment he didn’t train during the week.
“And for this reason today he wasn’t available for the starting eleven, or for the bench, or to come with the squad. This is the reason. This is the truth about Diego.
“I read a lot of speculation about this topic. I can tell you that, if there are problems with the players, then I am used to, in my career, solving them in the changing room, not outside, not in a press conference.
“I don’t know anything about this (interest from China). The club did not tell me about this. For this reason, it can be only speculation.
“We start our training session on Tuesday and next week we will see. It’s important to understand his physical condition and then we will see if he trains with us. I don’t know (how long he will be out) because I don’t have his pain.”
In his absence, Chelsea recovered from their defeat to Tottenham with a comprehensive victory over champions Leicester, with two goals from Marcos Alonso and another from Pedro ensuring a seven-point gap at the top of the Premier League.
And Conte hailed his players for their reaction, insisting there was a “great spirit” among them and they must “always be together”.
He said: “Today my players showed me a great performance. After 13 wins in a row and then a defeat, it’s difficult to know the reaction of your team, but it was very good. They showed great will to fight and to win.
“We started this game with a lot of pressure after Tottenham and Arsenal’s victories. But we showed great experience to manage this situation.”