Ian Wright has taken aim at absent Chelsea striker Diego Costa as he continues his self-imposed exile from the club.
The forward has been residing in his native Brazil for the past number of weeks and is adamant that he will not be returning to Chelsea. The reigning Premier League champions don’t particularly want him around either but are insisting that he return to Stamford Bridge and train so as to make himself a more attractive proposition for a buyer.
Speaking on BBC’s Radio Five Live on Monday evening, Wright has hit out at Costa’s behaviour, branding it ‘disgraceful’ and wondering out loud how a player under contract at a club could be allowed to get away with such disobedience.
“I don’t understand how players can get away with that behaviour.
“It’s disgraceful the way he is behaving. Surely he’s got to come back here, so if the manager changes his mind he’s there. He’s earning a fortune at Chelsea. Can Atletico Madrid even afford him?”
Costa has cited the breakdown of his relationship with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, and the subsequent alleged text message that confirmed that the 28-year-old was no longer part of the boss’s plans, as a major reason for his refusal to return amid his desperation to get out of the Premier League permanently. (and most likely back to Atletico Madrid).
Wright did concede that if this was how Conte did deal with the situation, rather than telling him to his face in January that they would be selling him the summer like he claimed recently, then Costa would at least have the right to be annoyed.
“Why does it seem he is holding all the cards? He genuinely wants to go, but only wants to go to Atletico Madrid.
“If Chelsea want to get rid of him and get bids for a player they don’t want, they’re not going to take them?
“I would like to see the text. Show us the text. Then I don’t blame him, because I would have the hump over that.”
With just over two weeks remaining, Chelsea could yet be one of the busiest of the Premier League clubs. Following Saturday’s surprise 3-2 defeat to Burnley Conte has demanded reinforcements, and if Costa does leave then it leaves the Blues another player down with the campaign already underway.