I Don’t Know When Costa Will Return – Conte

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he is unsure when Diego Costa will return from injury after leaving him out for Saturday’s 3-0 win at Leicester.

Costa had a dispute with a coach over his fitness and Conte said the 28-year-old Spain striker complained of a back problem on Tuesday.

There were also reports he is the subject of an offer to move to China.

“I don’t know how long it will take, I don’t have his pain,” said Conte. “We’ll see about this next week.”

Costa has been integral to the Premier League leaders this season, having scored 14 goals and provided five assists.

Asked whether Costa has a future at Stamford Bridge, he said: “I can’t be concerned about this because today my players produced a great performance and showed spirit. I can’t be concerned with nothing.”

The former Juventus and Italy boss was then asked once more whether the Brazil-born forward would feature again for the Blues and responded with: “Why not?”

He added: “There are lot of ‘if’ questions – I don’t like to answer these types of questions.”

On reports of interest from China, Conte told BBC Sport: “I don’t know and the club doesn’t know anything about the reports of Costa to China. The truth is what I told you before.”

Left-back Marcos Alonso, who scored twice against Leicester, said: “You guys [journalists] made up the story. Diego wasn’t feeling well because of his back. He’s very happy and will have a great season at Chelsea.”

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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