Antonio Conte says that Diego Costa and his lawyer “knew very well” that he would be sold this summer, with Chelsea stating that the idea the Spanish striker only found out through a text message in June is “nonsense”.
Costa’s legal representative Ricardo Cardoso on Thursday strongly criticised the club’s attitude towards his player, saying they had made it “impossible” for the player to stay due to how the manager had dismissed him, but both Conte and the club have strongly rejected that, with the Italian even stating “I don’t know why lawyers are getting involved.”
“Again?” Conte asked. “I have to repeat the same? For me it's very simple, the situation. I repeat what I said in the past, maybe 10 days ago. The player, his agent and the club knew very well the future of the player in the summer.
“They knew very well. For sure I don't understand why lawyers are getting involved. I don't understand this. The situation is very clear and is always the same.”
Chelsea’s director of communications then immediately offered a statement reading: “The premise the lawyer has put forward is just wrong. The decision on Diego was made back in January. The player knew the decision, his agent knew the decision, clearly the lawyer has not been well informed.”
Conte went on to stay “for me, it’s the past”.
Costa will almost certainly be sold to Atletico Madrid before the window shuts, although there is currently a significant difference in valuation, with the Spanish club hoping to pay no more than £25m and Chelsea holding out for £50m.
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