With a straight face, Chelsea have slammed claims from Diego Costa’s lawyer that manager Antonio Conte is forcing the striker out of Stamford Bridge.
It’s a bit difficult for Chelsea to claim the high ground here after Conte told Costa via text message at the end of last season that the striker was no longer in his first-team plans.
Costa wants to return to Atletico Madrid, but they are under a FIFA transfer ban at the moment, making any deal between the two clubs difficult,
But the rhetoric between the player and club has been to a new level after Costa’s lawyer Ricardo Cardoso has threatened the club with legal action over what they see as Conte’s attempts to force the striker out
‘We are going to use all possible legal mechanisms to hold Chelsea responsible for their behaviour, making possible the departure of Diego Costa,’ Cardoso said.
‘He will formally request the transfer. When he was with the Spanish national team in June, he was dismissed from Chelsea by Antonio Conte through an SMS message…
‘The way in which it was carried out and the fact that it came out in public shows unfair behaviour and a lack of respect for the player and it is inadmissible and inexcusable on Antonio Conte’s part.
‘Not only have Chelsea not intervened or denied it either in public or in private, but they have renewed Conte’s contract, demonstrating they agree with the dismissal of Diego Costa and the way in which it was processed.
‘This discriminatory behaviour makes it impossible for Diego Costa to return to Chelsea while Antonio Conte is the coach, there is no condition for him to continue playing at Chelsea, which has already been passed on to those responsible several times.
‘At the moment moment, he does not want to play for a club other than Atletico Madrid.’
But Chelsea have hit back at those accusations via a spokesman saying:
‘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.
‘The lawyer’s argument that Antonio as a coach has forced the player out by text message in June is just nonsense.
‘We’ll just have to see what the window brings.’
Antonio Conte had his say in a press conference on Friday and reinforced the club’s viewpoint by adding:
‘Again? 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.’