The Diego Costa summer saga has taken a turn for the even more absurd as the striker’s lawyer has gotten in on the act by claiming a few ridiculous things in the Spanish media.
Speaking to Agencia EFE, Ricardo Cardoso has not only revealed that they’re going to put in a formal transfer request, but that he will hold Chelsea “accountable” for the “discriminatory” and “unfair” treatment of the striker who’s been, for better or worse, deemed surplus to requirements. This situation, according to Antonio Conte, was clear since January, but somehow we’re now to the point where the lawyers are getting involved.
"We are going to activate all the legal mechanisms [to secure Costa's exit] and formally present a transfer request. In three seasons at Chelsea he won two championships, and was the decisive player in those victories.”
Well, it’s not like Chelsea are hoping to keep the dude, so all that the transfer request does is hopefully speed things along by removing the need to pay any “loyalty” bonuses to Costa. Meanwhile, as far as winning things, I think Mourinho, Conte, Kante, Hazard, Fabregas, David Luiz, and all the other regulars from the last three years might have something to say about being “the decisive player” in Chelsea’s titles.
"When he was already with the Spain national team [for a friendly against Colombia last June] and before travelling to Brazil to enjoy his holidays, he was released from Chelsea by SMS by the coach Antonio Conte. Obviously, this release, in the way it was done, and how it became known by everyone, was unfair treatment and a lack of respect to the player on the part of Conte which is unacceptable and inexcusable.”
How it became known to everyone? Wasn’t it Costa himself who told the media!? How is that the club’s fault? Conte’s text may not have been the most professional move ever, but it was still miles better than Costa making a private conversation public and then spending the next two months moaning about it.
"Chelsea have not just not denied nor corrected the coach, either in public or private, but instead renewed his contract. This shows that they knew about and were in agreement with the release of Diego Costa and the way it was done.
Yes, though it just might have had something to also do with Costa requesting to leave several times over the past couple years. According to most club-sourced reports, Chelsea were actually not too happy with Conte about the text, but beyond that, they were in agreement with the move. Yes, Chelsea chose the coach over a player, for once. About time.
"Such discriminatory behaviour makes it impossible for Costa to return to Chelsea while Antonio Conte is coach. There is no way that he can continue to play for Chelsea, a message which has been communicated various times to those in charge there.
So what you’re saying is that we can’t fire Costa, he quits? Well, okay then.
"And he will not play for any other club which is not Atletico Madrid, a club where he had sporting success, but above all where he was always respected, even after he had joined Chelsea."
Right, Atletico, the team that didn’t bother waiting for him last summer and signed Kevin Gameiro instead, or the team that isn’t exactly breaking down Chelsea’s doors right now to submit a non-laughable bid. So much respect!
Costa taking a pop at Atleti. He's kinda just opening up now. Says they didn't fight for him like he did to force a return (!!!). #CFC— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) March 21, 2017
Obviously, Costa’s lawyer will paint his own client as the victim, though using words like disciminatory and threatening to hold Chelsea accountable — whatever that means — for a football decision regarding a football player who did the exact same thing to the club twelve months ago is rather hilarious.
Either way, if it wasn’t obvious before, this is the last bridge burnt then between Costa and Conte and Chelsea. Yet, the situation overall hasn’t really changed. Atletico still haven’t come close to meeting Chelsea’s asking price and Costa has ruled out AC Milan repeatedly (or any other non-Atletico option) for either a short-term loan or longer-term transfer.