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
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."