The Diego Costa saga took a turn in an absurd direction yesterday with Costa’s lawyer, Ricardo Cardoso wading in and claiming “discriminatory” and “unfair” treatment of his client who’s being nefariously “forced out” by Chelsea. Certainly an odd statement to make, especially considering the public nature of the saga and Costa himself kicking it all off at the start of the summer by revealing to the media Conte’s text message.
Chelsea don’t often comment on transfer rumors and other assorted nonsense (case in point: the Matić transfer, which Conte sidestepped), but the lawyer’s bold claims left the club not much choice. Press officer Steve Atkins handled the duties, as he always does with official club statements and comments.
"If I may I would like to say something on behalf of the club. We don't usually respond to comments of this nature, but I think we should do on this occasion.”
"The premise the lawyer has put forward is just wrong. As Antonio has said, I think this is worth repeating, that the decision on Diego was made back in January.
"The player knew the decision, the agent knew the decision, and clearly the lawyer has not been well informed.
"So, the lawyer's argument that Antonio has forced the player out by text message in June is just nonsense. As a club we're going to leave it there and see what the window brings.”
-Steve Atkins, Chelsea press officer; source: Evening Standard
There was no mention of the official transfer request that Costa was supposedly ready to submit, so that situation itself remains rather unchanged. Costa has made it clear that he will not play for any other than Atletico Madrid, but Atleti don’t have the money to buy him and he wouldn’t be able to play for them even if they did until the new year thanks to their transfer ban.
The entire situation is messy, and that’s before the lawyers got involved.
"For me the situation is simple. I repeat what I have said previously, that the club, the player and the agent knew very well the vision of the player in the summer. They knew very well.
"For sure, I don't understand why the lawyer has got involved. I don't understand this, but I repeat the situation is very clear and it has always been the same."
-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard