Chelsea striker Diego Costa has come out to speak against both the club and manager Antonio Conte, accusing them of treating him like a “criminal”.
Costa, 28, has been told that he has no future at the club and having been frozen out of the first-team squad, the Brazil-born Spain international has gone home to Brazil.
“I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. I didn’t want to leave. I was happy. When the manager does not want you, you have to go,” Costa said in an interview published in Monday’s Daily Mail.
“In January, things happened with the coach. I was on the brink of renewing my contract and they put the brakes on it. I suspect the manager was behind it. He asked for that to happen.
“They gave me a week extra off, but since then it’s fines all the way. They want me training with the reserves. I am not going to do that. I am not a criminal and I am not in the wrong here.
“So, if they need to fine me, let them fine me.”
“I respect him as a great coach. He has done a good job and I can see that. But as a person — no,” said Costa, who was speaking in his hometown of Lagarto in northeastern Brazil.
“He is not a coach who is very close with his players. He is very distant. He doesn’t possess charisma.”
“My desire is to go to Atletico,” he said. “I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. If I’m off, I’m going to the club I want to go to, not the club that’s paying the most.
“I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don’t pay me. I’ll come back stronger. If I was in the wrong, I’d go back now and do as they say.”
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