Chelsea striker, Diego Costa, was dropped from the squad that won 3-0 against Leicester City on Saturday. Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, insisted that the Spain international did not travel with the rest of the Blues squad because of a back injury.
Costa, meanwhile, has been trained alone at Cobham since Tuesday following a heated argument with Conte. The striker had attracted a significant and lucrative interest from the Chinese Super League this month, which may have turned his head around.
According to reports from ESPN, Costa is not inclined to follow the path taken by Oscar and John Obi Mikel in the winter transfer window. Conte believes that his players are motivated by the challenge of winning trophies and playing at an elite club in a competitive league.
Conte said, as quoted by ESPN:
I think we’re a great club and it’s a great honour to play for Chelsea and for this reason I don’t see a threat from China for my players. The money is not everything. When you play for a great team like Chelsea, you must be pleased with your situation.
The Premier League is really competitive. I think that the Premier League can attract every player because this league is the best in the world for a lot of positive things.
For this reason, I repeat: These offers from China are not a threat for our league. Money is not everything in football. I don’t worry about agents destabilising my players.
Costa reportedly rejected a new contract offer from Chelsea before the bust-up with Conte. Chelsea have offered him a five-year-deal, worth £200,000-per week, but the striker was unwilling to commit his future to the club.
Chelsea will not offer more than the proposed deal to Costa. He is vital for Chelsea’s title push this season, and the club is preparing to hold talks with him. Costa will not be allowed to leave the club, even if Chelsea receive a £80m transfer fee from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian.