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Diego Costa talks of a strained relationship with Antonio Conte but not when it seemed to be the case.

Diego Costa has spoken of how his relationship with Antonio Conte was strained this season with talk of a move away from Chelsea but it...


Diego Costa has spoken of how his relationship with Antonio Conte was strained this season with talk of a move away from Chelsea but it’s not the move you would think it could be.

As with Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa has been the focus of continuous speculation about his future ever since he arrived at Chelsea three summers ago. Having made such an impact at Atletico Madrid before he signed for Chelsea, seemingly not having taken time to learn the English language (before his famous F**k off lip-synced this past week) and speak publicly and his previous comments indicating that he would favour a return to Atletico, Costa has been linked with La Liga throughout his time here.

As we know Costa became the focus of interest from the Far East with ridiculous sums of money to entice him to join the revolution of Chinese football during the January transfer window. This led to reports of a fall-out with Antonio Conte and his technical staff at Cobham with Costa. This was subsequently resolved with Chelsea not willing to budge on their intention to keep the Spanish striker and Costa remains at the club for the time being.

Now you would think reading the headline that the incident Costa is referring to relates to what happened in January but you would be mistaken. Diego Costa has revealed that this incident happened back in the summer upon his first meeting with Antonio Conte. He said:

“On Conte's first day at Chelsea, I told him that I wanted to return to Atletico, and he was angry with me, he hardly even looked at me. I would have reacted the same way.

I did everything possible to return to Atletico. I won’t fight like that to return again. When Atletico had to wait for me they didn’t. I had to go to Conte with my tail between my legs, thankfully I started scoring goals.”


His comments are more than interesting considering both Costa and Atletico had spoken of their intentions to be reunited last summer. The fact that Costa has told Conte he wants to return for Atletico to not follow up and make a move for him must be more than embarrassing. This leads to the uncomfortable situation he faced having to go to Conte and re-affirm the commitment he had to give with nowhere seemingly to go which has played into Conte’s hands.

Imagine being Antonio Conte at that time having spent time evaluating the players he was due to inherit ahead of his arrival. To have the number one striker explain to you that he wants to leave on your first meeting had to have been demoralising. However, to then have him come to see you again, to state that he now intends to stay would have been a battle he would never have expected to win. At that point he knows that he has Costa right where he wants him.

We wait to see what happens in the summer with Costa as he will be linked with a move away from the club again. I sincerely hope that with our expected return to the Champions League next season, Antonio Conte reaffirms his authority and convinces him that his future lies here.  

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