Chelsea striker, Diego Costa says the club is treating him like a criminal, demanding he trains with the reserves and to stay away from the first team dressing room.
h/t Mail Sport that the club had also slapped the 28-year-old with a fine for refusing to return to England after his pre season break.
In an interview with Adam Crafton of Daily Mail, Costa narrates his fall out with the club, Conte’s lack of Charisma and players who still root for him in the senior team; keeping tabs on WhatsApp.
First things first, Costa is not expecting an SOS plea from Conte to return. ‘No,’ he insists. ‘You know that the manager doesn’t want me.
‘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.
‘If you were to ask all my team-mates, they’d say the same. They send messages saying “I miss you” and that they love me.
‘I am always talking with the boys – particularly Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Willian. We have banter over WhatsApp.
‘They ask how I am. They really love me for the person I am. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be saying they miss me and love me.’
‘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.
‘His ideas are very fixed and clear. I have seen the sort of person he is. He has his own opinion and that will not change.
‘I respect him as a great coach. He has done a good job and I can see that, but as a person, no. He is not a coach who is very close with his players. He is very distant. He doesn’t possess charisma.’
‘What is happening now with Chelsea is sad,’ he says. ‘The text message – I understand it when a coach wants a different player.
‘Alvaro Morata is a great player. He had a great season in Madrid and actually with the way this crazy transfer market is, I think they got a good price for a young and talented forward.
‘He will triumph at Chelsea, but there are ways of going about it. You don’t do it by text message. You should be honest and direct to someone’s face.
‘I was with the Spain national team, alone in my room, when it came through. It was a shock to get it like that. I was showing it to my team-mates and they could not believe how he had done it.
‘I was angry at the time. Now I am more calm. I have not deleted the message. If people accuse me of lying, I can show them. It was clear, saying that he didn’t count on me and wishing me the best for the future. Full stop.’
‘He arrived from an Italian league where everyone is very serious and arrived in a dressing room where there are maybe more jokes.
‘The worst bit of all this, it is for the fans. They have always treated me so well, always, always. For this, I am sad. I hope they understand things happen in football.
‘Conte is a great coach. He deserves to be where he is but it’s his opinion. He has his reasons.’
Costa says legal proceedings are yet to begin, explaining: ‘At the moment, no. I want people to do things the right way.
‘Why won’t they let me go if they don’t want me? I have to do what I have to do. I have to think of myself. I’ve been a good boy here and tried to do the right thing.
‘My desire is to go to Atletico (where he played from 2010-14). I’ve spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, “If the manager doesn’t want me, I want to go to Atletico Madrid”.
‘I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. The language is better for me in Spain. If I’m off, I’m going to the club I want to go to — not the club that’s paying the most.
‘Diego Simeone (Atletico manager) wants me. It is very clear. I have always had a bond with him. The fans and people love me there. They respect me.’
‘They want me to be there training with the reserves. I wouldn’t be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact at all with the guys.
‘I’m not a criminal! I don’t think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.’
‘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.
‘I take the hit every week but I’m not driven by money. The important thing is to be happy with how I live. I’m here with my parents and people who respect me.’
Would Costa ever return or would he consider a move to another English club? ‘If I have to I will stay in Brazil,’ he says.
‘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.
‘At the start of summer, they gave me an extra week of holiday. Then a week later they called to see where I was but by then the team was in Asia on tour, so I could go back and not have any contact with the boys.
‘That seems a very bad and ugly life. It doesn’t respect what I have done for the club. I am here with people who love me. I want the fans to know I still care deeply about them but I’m not going back to be separated like that.
‘I want the deal with Atletico resolved this month. My idea would be to go to Madrid, train there, get in the best physical shape and be ready to fire ahead of the World Cup.’