Costa, China, Conte, bust-up, BLAZING ROW, rabble rabble rabble. Yawn.
If I had a £ for every mention of Costa today by the press I'd be able to buy China.— Chelsea Stats (@ChelseaStats) January 14, 2017
What’s the truth of the situation that saw Diego Costa miss Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday? According to Marcos Alonso, he’s simply injured and the rest is nothing but media fabrication.
"You guys made up the story. Diego wasn't feeling well because of his back. He's very happy and will have a great enough season at Chelsea."
-Marcos Alonso; source: BBC
Hilariously enough, as soon as Alonso got done talking and the scene switched back to the studio, the pundits and analysts went back to discussing the finer details of this massive bust-up that’s clearly going to derail Chelsea’s season starting with the game against Leicester.
Head coach Antonio Conte wasn’t too impressed with all this noise in his post-match press conference either.
"I think before the game, I told the truth, I told the truth. I repeat the truth because I like to tell the truth and not lie.”
“Diego stopped training on Tuesday because he felt a pain in his back and from that moment he didn't train during the week for this reason. He wasn't available today, this is the truth.”
"No I don't know, I don't know anything about [an offer from China]. The club hasn't told me about this, we don't know anything about this."
"I think that if there are the problems, I prefer to solve the problem in the changing room and not in the press conference. If, I repeat if there are the problems but we start next week on Tuesday and we'll see."
-Antonio Conte; source: BT Sport via Football.London
Conte neither confirmed nor denied whether Costa would be starting next weekend; it will obviously depend on his injury.
Conte on Costa return date: "I don't know. It is always difficult - I don't have his pain. We will see next week."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 14, 2017
So, either everyone’s stonewalling and spouting the company line, or Diego Costa is indeed simply injured and this whole story has been blown massively out of proportion. We will no doubt get some clarity in the coming days, but I don’t see any outcome other than Diego Costa finishing out the season for Chelsea and scoring lots of goals in the meantime. His future was always going to be up for debate after that (thus the contract rumors as well as the constant Atlético/Simeone stories), but for now, I don’t think there’s great cause for concern.
(Or maybe I’m wrong. In which case, Marcos Alonso’s just going to have to continue pouring in the goals.)