Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that striker Diego Costa will stay at Stamford Bridge amid speculations of him leaving the club.

The 27-year Spanish international’s future was uncertain as the new manager Conte signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for a massive £33million. The Spaniard was expected to leave and was linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.

However despite Atletico’s interest, Chelsea have held on to their star and with Atletico Madrid Gameiro, the interest slowly faded away.

Speaking ahead of their season opener against West Brom, Conte has confirmed that the star striker would stay at the club for the upcoming season.

‘I am happy that he [Costa] stayed here and decided to work with us,’ Conte said. ‘We know he can improve with the work.

‘I like the spirit of Diego because he always shows a great passion, I am the same, I have a great passion for this football. He doesn’t want to lose and I like that passion, I want this passion in the team,’ he said.

‘I know that he is a fantastic finisher and I think that Diego can improve the team a lot. Now, he is a fantastic player but he can improve a lot and I hope for this.

‘Diego is a forward and he knows that in my idea of football, the forward must always be a point of reference for the team. I don’t like them to move around the pitch, I like them to stay there because you are a forward, you are committed to scoring the goals, stay in the right position, to play. You are a forward, not a midfielder or a defender.

‘I never ask this of my striker, never, never. I ask my players to have the right attitude, right behaviour, and right commitment. It is important that the players play our style of football.

‘I think all the players need to improve, not only for Diego Costa. My work is to win but also to improve the players. It is important for me to leave him a percentage to improve. I think the coach or manager must improve his players in a different aspect, my job is this, to improve my players. Maybe the most important thing.’

    I am a sports enthusiast. Primarily a football fan these days post the golden era of Indian cricket.

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