English Premiership

'I'm no criminal!' Costa blasts Chelsea

2017-08-14 10:00
Diego Costa.(Getty Images)

London - Out-of-favour Chelsea striker Diego Costa has launched an angry broadside against both the club and manager Antonio Conte, accusing them of treating him like a "criminal".

Costa, 28, has been informed by Conte that he has no future at the club and having been frozen out of the first-team squad, the Brazil-born Spain international has gone home to Brazil.

He says Chelsea "want to sell me to China", but has reiterated his desire to return to former club Atletico Madrid, who are under a transfer ban until January.

"I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. I didn't want to leave. I was happy. When the manager does not want you, you have to go," Costa said in an interview published in Monday's Daily Mail.

"In January, things happened with the coach. I was on the brink of renewing my contract and they put the brakes on it. I suspect the manager was behind it. He asked for that to happen.

"They gave me a week extra off, but since then it's fines all the way. They want me training with the reserves. I am not going to do that. I am not a criminal and I am not in the wrong here.

"So, if they need to fine me, let them fine me."

Costa was particularly scathing in his criticism of Conte, who led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

"I respect him as a great coach. He has done a good job and I can see that. But as a person - no," said Costa, who was speaking in his hometown of Lagarto in northeastern Brazil.

"He is not a coach who is very close with his players. He is very distant. He doesn't possess charisma."

Faced with Atletico's inability to recruit players, Costa said he would rather spend a year not playing than join another club.

"My desire is to go to Atletico," he said. "I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. If I'm off, I'm going to the club I want to go to, not the club that's paying the most.

"I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don't pay me. I'll come back stronger. If I was in the wrong, I'd go back now and do as they say."

Chelsea opened their title defence in disastrous fashion on Saturday, losing 3-2 at home to Burnley, with Costa's replacement Alvaro Morata coming off the bench to score.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  english premiership  |  diego costa  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Friday, 20 October 2017
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion, London Stadium 21:00
Saturday, 21 October 2017
Chelsea v Watford, Stamford Bridge 13:30
Stoke City v AFC Bournemouth, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Burnley, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Crystal Palace, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Manchester United, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion, St. Mary's Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Everton v Arsenal, Goodison Park 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.