English Premiership

Conte: Costa speculation should end

2017-01-23 09:50
Diego Costa (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised Diego Costa for his performance in their victory over Hull City on Sunday, the Italian saying that speculation about the striker's future should end.

Costa scored his 15th goal of the season as the Blues extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points with a 2-0 win over the Tigers at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Spain international was reportedly involved in a training-ground bust-up with Conte after receiving a huge offer to play in China.

The forward was the left out for Chelsea's game against Leicester last week but, after talks with the management, returned to the starting line-up against Hull, with Conte saying Costa's performance justified his decision to start the player.

The Italian told Sky Sports after the game: "His performance was good, and I am pleased... for this reason, he started the game.

"During the press conference before the game against Hull, a lot of people asked me about his form, about his attitude, and I told them that I will take the best decision for the team. And I think after his performance that I made the best decision.

"It is normal to receive a lot of questions about it, but the most important thing for us is the answer that we give on the pitch. For the player, for me, the club, our fans, for the league and the table.

"Honestly, I was very happy to see the celebration because I was celebrating the goal on the bench. I think for Diego the most important thing was that he scored. The celebration was good, but most importantly he scored!"

Conte added: "Diego has two years left on his contract at Chelsea. I think his contract puts an end to speculation. I don't know (if he will be offered a new contract) - this is a decision that will have to be taken with the club."

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