Diego Costa’s Chelsea future has been in doubt all summer.
The Spanish international was attracting interest from former club Atletico Madrid, who wanted him to return and form one of the deadliest strike forces in football, alongside Antoine Griezmann.
But, that chase seemed to go cold after Diego Simeone’s side signed Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla, leaving Costa in England.
After weeks of rumours and speculation, Blues boss Antonio Conte has revealed that Costa will stay with the club for the upcoming season.
Speaking about his striker, Conte said:
I’m happy that Diego stayed here to work with us. I like the spirit of Diego.
He always shows a great passion. I am the same. I think he doesn’t want to lose.
I like this passion. I want this passion in the team. I ask all the players for the right attitude and commitment.
I think it is important to have this passion for your work, for football. It helps you to overcome difficulty. I always demand this from him.
Conte was a passionate player in his playing days, and it looks like the Italian sees some of himself in his striker, who hit 12 goals last season.
But the former Juventus boss also thinks the 27-year-old can improve his game, and has revealed how he wants his front man to play this season.
Diego is a forward and he knows that in my idea of football, the forward must always be a point of reference for the team.
I don’t like them to move around the pitch, I like them to stay there because you are a forward, you are committed to score the goals, stay in the right position, to play. You are a forward, not a midfielder or a defender.
It’s a good job Conte cleared up that Costa isn’t a defender, otherwise he’d end up with even more yellow cards than he usually does.
Although Costa marking Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be a contest I’d pay good money to see.