Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed what happened in the summer of 2017 that led to an ugly drama that saw Diego Costa left Chelsea for Atletico Madrid.

Costa wanted to leave Chelsea for China in January which infuriated Conte. The duo had a few clashes but Costa ended up staying and helped Chelsea win the FA Cup and the Premier League.

During the 2017 summer break, Antonio Conte sent Diego Costa a text message in which the Spain International striker claimed Conte informed him he was no longer part of his plans.

“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,” Conte said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph.

“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.”

Costa joined the Blues from Atletico Madrid in July 2014, scoring 59 goals in 120 appearances.


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