A quiet Wednesday evening in early June was disrupted by a giant bombshell dropped on our heads by Diego Costa. Having just completed 90 minutes on the bench as Spain drew 2-2 with Colombia in an international friendly, Costa unloaded on his situation and Conte as well in the post-match mixed zone. Players often talk in vague terms when the microphones are thrust in their faces. There’s no such subtlety here.
Here’s the full transcript of the brief interview, translated from the original Spanish audio.
Reporter: [Question about Atlético Madrid and the CAS decision on their transfer ban]
Costa: "I will be quite honest. A few days ago I got a message from my manager [Antonio] Conte saying that I am no longer part of his plans. So I don't know... I'm a Chelsea player because I have a contract but the manager doesn't want me in the team. So I will have to leave."
Reporter: Did he say why he doesn't count on you?
Costa: "I don't know. I didn't have a good relationship with him this season and it's clear he doesn't want me in the team. I suppose I must have had a bad season to not continue [at Chelsea]."
Reporter: Had he had any other explanations?
Costa: "No, he just sent a simple message."
Reporter: A simple text message?
Costa: "A simple text message. After everything I had done for him... It's a shame but now I have to look for a new team and keep on playing."
Reporter: Anyone else on Chelsea told they count on you for the next season?
Costa: "No, but if the manager, who puts the players on the pitch, doesn't count on you anymore then you have to leave."
Reporter: Have you got in tough with the club?
Costa: "I've already forwarded the message to other people within Chelsea so they can decide [on my future], but it's clear the manager doesn't want me there. I am on the market now, so I'm looking for a team."
Reporter: [Question on whether Madrid can be his new team]:
Costa: "Five months without playing? I don't know, it's complicated. But people know I love Atlético and living in Madrid. It would be beautiful to return, but it's hard to stay four, five months away from the pitch. It's a World Cup year and there are a lot of things to think about. I need to play, just that."
Costa: "Now it's much easier [to leave Chelsea]. And if the manager doesn't count on me and I have to leave, they surely need to sell me for a bargain."