But new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has rejected reports that Costa is heading back to Madrid saying that the Spanish striker is of “fundamental importance” to Chelsea.
In a scheduled news conference to preview Chelsea’s friendly clash with WAC RZ Pellets on Wednesday, Conte unequivocally dismissed the possibility of Costa leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.
“Diego Costa is our player, he’s a fantastic player with fundamental importance,” Conte insisted.
“He’s very happy and is working hard.”
Despite it being two years since he arrived at Stamford Bridge Costa has failed to fully settle into life in England. He still struggles with the language and reportedly feels that he has been persecuted by the British media due to his abrasive playing style.
But Costa has three years left to run on his current contract at Stamford Bridge, and the fact that he returned to preseason training last week considerably leaner and fitter than last season underlined to many at Chelsea his determination to play a key role in the club’s revival under Conte and not to force his way out of the club.