Diego Costa’s altercation with Gareth Barry was to show Roman Abramovich he still wants to leave Chelsea, according to Antony Kastrinakis.
Costa was dismissed for a second bookable offence six minutes from the end of his side’s 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Goodison Park after an ugly clash with Barry during which he appeared to make a motion to bite the Toffees midfielder before thinking better of it.
Barry has since confirmed Costa did not bite him, but Kastrinakis believes the Spain international is trying to force a move away from Stamford Bridge.
“Costa had exactly the same reputation at Atletico Madrid as he has developed in England,” The Sun’s European football correspondent told Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement show. “His behaviour over the last few months is purely to show Roman Abramovich that he wants out.
“He wanted out last May. There were stories from various friends of his that he wanted to return to Atletico Madrid. It could have been done in January when Atletico made a bid, but Chelsea would not let him go.
“I think all of this is his frustration, because he wants to play elsewhere.”
The Daily Star’s chief sports writer Jeremy Cross seconded Kastrinakis’ view, adding: “There is probably an ulterior motive to his behaviour, but he is idolised by children all over Europe and here in the Premier League – you just don’t do it,” Cross said.
“It just sums him up. He obviously has a switch that goes on and off.
“Chelsea will worry because he will have a reputation that precedes him with referees, and opposition players will be out to wind him up.”