Antonio Conte has spoken to the press to provide an update on the situation with Diego Costa, assuring the media that the player has a back injury and denying the existence of offers from China and a fall out as he said:
“I have read a lot of speculation about this topic and I can tell you if there are problems – and I repeat ‘if’ – with players, I am used to solving them in the changing room, not outside, not in press conferences… Before the game I told the truth, I don’t lie. If you want to know the truth, I’m ready to tell the truth. On Tuesday during the training session Diego stopped because he felt a pain in his back. From that moment he didn’t train during the week. For this reason today he wasn’t available. This is the reason, the truth.”
When asked about a rumoured bid from China for the Spaniard, he replied:
“I don’t know anything about this. The club did not inform me about this. That can be only speculation. [Will he play for the club again?] Why not?”
Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
However, losing such a key player would be a big blow as they seek to tie down the services of Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique according to Don Balon, who claim that Shakira has had enough of Barcelona and the star man could depart his boyhood club for a return to England, with Chelsea favourites for his signature.
It would certainly be an ambitious move by the club and would add the defensive depth and quality that Antonio Conte has been looking for, but it seems unlikely to be realistic.
BBC Sport report that striker Patrick Bamford has now been recalled early from a loan at Burnley having made just six appearances summing up to a total of 33 minutes of Premier League action since he joined the club in the summer.
It was Bamford’s sixth loan spell away from the club and the 23-year-old is now likely to head out on loan again with 18 months left on his current Chelsea contract.
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