Conte clarifies situation amid Costa’s strong link with China

Date published: Saturday 14th January 2017 10:03

Antonio Conte has insisted he is not aware of any interest from China in Diego Costa and denied the pair have fallen out with each other.

Costa was a notable omission in the 3-0 win against Leicester, but the Italian boss revealed it was an injury that the Spanish international sustained in training earlier in the week was the reason why he was not involved on Saturday evening.

“I think before the game I told the truth and I repeat the truth because I like to and I don’t lie,” Conte told BT Sport.

“Diego stopped his training Tuesday because he felt a pain in his back, for this reason he was not available. This is the truth.”

Conte was then asked about reports that had suggested he had fallen out with the striker.

He replied: “I don’t know about this because I repeat the truth is what I told you before. Now we see in the next week.”

When questioned about Costa’s link with a big-money move to China he added, “I don’t know anything about this, no.”

Conte also revealed that he will look to solve any problem he has at the club without the aid of Roman Abramovich.

He said: “I think that you said if there are problems, I prefer to solve them in the changing room not at a press conference if, and I repeat if, there are problems.”

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