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Diego Costa is very happy to stay at Chelsea, insists manager Antonio Conte, despite increasing speculation the striker could return to Atletico Madrid.
Over the past few weeks, several reports have suggested the Spain international is very much interested on a return to his homeland after two years at Stamford Bridge and that Atletico would be keen to take the 27-year-old back.
However, Conte gave a conflicting view and suggested that Costa could be involved in Chelsea’s pre-season for the first time later tonight.
“Diego Costa has recovered from his injury,” Conte told the club’s official website ahead of tonight’s friendly with AC Milan.
“Tomorrow I decide the formation and the starting 11 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.”
Chelsea takes on AC Milan in Minneapolis tonight, with the game kicking off at 2.30am BST.
Atletico Madrid are continuing their pursuit of Diego Costa, despite Chelsea insisting that he is not for sale.
The Daily Mirror claim that Costa remains their first choice option upfront as Diego Simeone aims to solve Atletico’s striking problem.
Chelsea have already contacted Atletico Madrid warning them about previous comments regarding Costa and were prepared to make contact again with a more strongly-worded rebuke if the Spanish club maintains their aggressive transfer tactics.
Costa struggled to adapt to life in England and became frustrated during his second season in the Premier League, but has promised new head coach Antonio Conte that he will give him everything.
That has not stopped Atletico’s attempted courtship and Chelsea were earlier this month forced to deny stories from Spain that Costa had put in a transfer request.
Conte has held more than one round of talks with Costa since being appointed by Chelsea and wants to play him in a new two-man strike force this season.