It’s been a day of flipping narratives. Arsenal, serial bottlers, beat Chelsea, serial winners in the FA Cup final. Wenger, old man devoid of new ideas, out-343s Conte, the architect of a football revolution. Diego Costa, head supposedly turned by China in January, tells Chelsea that the last thing on his mind is going to China.
"Everyone know what my preferred club is, there's nothing to hide.”
“Money is good, but I'm grateful for what I have right now and I have other things to look forward to, like playing the next World Cup. I know that I have a chance to be called if I'm playing well and at a high level, that's something I want."
"If I have to move to another city or another country than Spain, I don't think I'll go, I'd rather stay at Chelsea. If the club wants to sell me, they know where I want to go."
The interview, conducted mostly by Luis Fernando Restrepo of DirecTV Sports, can be seen embedded above. In it, Costa’s asked specifically about China, to which he shakes his head and says no. It’s also put to him that the story since January has been that it’s he who’s been wanting to leave, whose head had supposedly been turned by the record contract on offer from Tianjin Quanjian.
“I know Chelsea wants to sell players, but I told them, I have two years left in my contract and I won't go somewhere else just because they want so. I will only sign for another club in Europe, they know that. Otherwise I'll stay with my current contract.”
“I have a contract and no intention of leaving, but if there are changes to be made that might reduce my chances, if the coach won't count on me anymore or is to give space for another striker, I know that I'll have to leave. But only to where I'm willing to.”
It’s hard to make this fit into the established narrative, though the most recent reports did cast doubt on the China angle and brought back the Atlético angle as well. What does seem clear is that Costa wants to stay, that he doesn’t want to go to China, and the only other team he wants to play for is Atlético Madrid.