Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is confident of keeping Diego Costa from the clutches of China, insisting the Chinese Super League target is happy in London.
Costa has been the subject of intense interest from China, with Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian attempting to lure the Spain international to the CSL club.
The 28-year-old was axed for last month’s 3-0 victory over Leicester City following a reported disagreement over a back injury amid speculation of a move to Tianjin gathering momentum.
Now back in the side and scoring goals – 15 in the Premier League so far – Conte said Costa is determined to help runaway Chelsea win silverware.
“Diego is a really important player. The situation is very clear, he is very happy to stay with us and fight for the title,” Conte told BBC’s Premier League Show.
“I think [he will stay for some time]. I see him every day and his commitment and behaviour. He loves this club.”
Conte already lost one player to China after Brazilian midfielder Oscar joined Shanghai SIPG in a record £60million deal.
“It’s very difficult to manage these situations. £60million for Oscar, also a lot of money for the players,” Conte added. “I think it’s not the right way to pay a lot of money.
“The players to keep them in a club we must always have the right vision, the right vision, and stand the right way and not lose the right way because if we lose the right way it’s not a good example for the young players [and] for the people in general who have to work every day.”
Conte’s Chelsea – who are nine points clear atop the table – face Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.
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