Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has cast more confusion on Diego Costa’s situation by claiming the striker is “happy to stay” at Stamford Bridge.
The Spain frontman will get is first taste of Chelsea’s US tour later on Wednesday when he lines up against Milan in Minneapolis with his Blues future now assured, according to Conte.
It’s a somewhat different line from the weekend though, when the Italian coach claimed Costa’s future was far from certain in west London.
“I can say that today Costa is a Chelsea player,” said Conte over the weekend.
“He didn’t play in these games because of injury and if he solves the injury and I see in training that he is in good shape it can be possible to see him in the next game against Milan.
“But I can say only this. I speak only for today and today Costa is Chelsea’s player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know.”
Now though Costa is purported to be happy with life at the Bridge and all talk of a return to Atletico Madrid has been forgotten.
“Diego Costa has recovered from his injury,” said Conte. “Tomorrow I decide the formation and the starting XI but he is available and I am very happy that I can count on him.
“I repeat that Diego Costa is a Chelsea player and for me this is the most important thing at this moment. He is very happy to stay with us.”
Whether Conte, whose command of English is not as polished as it could be, has been in discussions with the club’s media department and asked to clear up his weekend comment remains to be seen, but the latest news is that the 27-year-old is more than content to forget Atletico.
New boy N’Golo Kante, who has had five days of training, looks set to make his Chelsea bow.
“He is in a good shape,” Conte told the club’s website. “Now he is working on the tactical aspect including through the video analysis, and also on the physical aspect, and I think tomorrow he can play one half or 30 minutes and I am very happy to see him so ready to play.”