Antonio Conte spent the latter half of his weekend in Italy, relaxing after an intense week that saw the Blues beat Brentford in the FA Cup, draw with Liverpool at Anfield and then hammer Arsenal at the Bridge. He was in attendance as Juventus beat Inter in the big derby 1-0 on Sunday night and at some point talked with Sky Italia as well.
One of the topics in that Sky Italia interview was the Diego Costa situation, or at least that’s what we were led to believe. The quotes from Sky, as relayed by Football Italia were “I was very clear with him and raised my voice: and the player understood. Now everything is perfect”. But if you follow that link, you’ll see that those quotes no longer appear in that story. Chelsea apparently had them scrubbed as they were, to use press officer Steve Atkins’s phrasing, “incorrect”.
Football Italia even changed the URL from ‘/97980/conte-raised-my-voice-costa’ to ‘/97980/conte-chelsea-were-ugly-ducklings’, so you know this is serious business.
Steve Atkins issued a statement about Antonio's quotes with Sky Italia: "He says the stuff on Diego Costa was incorrect." #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 10, 2017
Presumably that doesn’t mean that the situation isn’t perfect (or at least good) between Costa and Conte, but the part about raised voices and all that sounded far too forthright to begin with, so I’m not at all surprised that they were supposedly misreported. Conte takes the business of keeping team business behind closed doors. Squad issues get handled in private, not in the media.