The relationship between Diego Costa and Chelsea may be in the gutter, but manager Antonio Conte is still able to see the funny side of the situation.
The Spanish international striker has been camped out in Brazil recently as he looks to force through a move back to Atletico Madrid, breaking silence this week to hit out at his treatment by the club, dishing out fines for his absence and refusing to lower his asking price so he can finally move back to his old club.
Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday the question of Costa was put to the manager, at which point he threatened to keel over laughing:
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 18, 2017
Once he had regained his composure, Conte clarified the situation as he saw it:
“Everyone who knows at Chelsea knows what happened last season with Diego. It’s funny, [Costa’s] interview.”
When the question was put to him on Chelsea’s and his own stance on Costa potentially coming back and vying for a place in the site, Conte shut the Sky Sports reporter down quickly:
“For me, I’m not interested in continuing on this issue. It’s the past. Stop.”
At which point the press officer confirmed that Conte would not be commenting further on this issue, nor would the club.
Costa is highly unlikely to play for Chelsea again after a serious decline in his relationship with Conte over the past number of months. A parting of the ways seems inevitable in this transfer window but at some point Chelsea may have to accept that their full asking price for the striker may not be met by Atletico – the only club that Costa wants to go to.