Antonio Conte thanks Diego Costa for his contribution at Chelsea after striker's return to Atletico Madrid now confirmed

Sport360 staff 18:40 22/09/2017
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Antonio Conte (L), Diego Costa

Head coach Antonio Conte thanked Diego Costa for his contribution at Chelsea on Friday, but declined to discuss the fractious conclusion to the striker’s spell at Stamford Bridge.

Costa won two Premier League titles in his three seasons at Chelsea, but admitted to pandering for a return to Atletico Madrid as early as his first season in England.

And on Thursday the 28-year-old Brazil-born Spain international was granted his wish after months of acrimony, claim and counter claim when Chelsea and Atletico agreed a fee reported to be in the region of £58million.

Costa joined the Blues from Atletico in July 2014, scoring 59 goals in 120 appearances.

“We want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said.

The Italian was asked about the breakdown in relations with Costa, but met the question with a firm rebuttal.

Conte said: “I think now it’s not important. I’m not interested to continue talking about this issue.

“I’m working with my players, I’m very happy to work with these players. Now it’s not important.”Further attempts to discuss Costa, giving Conte the opportunity to reflect on their successful working relationship, were met with a similar response.

“Don’t forget we won together last season,” Conte added.

“I repeat: for sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us. Not only last season but in the period that he played for Chelsea.”

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