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Antonio Conte has wished Diego Costa well as the striker closes in on a return to Atletico Madrid.
The pair won the Premier League together last season but never had the best of relationships. It was reported on a couple of occasions during the season that the duo were involved in heated arguments.
The final nail on the coffin of Costa’s Chelsea career was hammered in January when the striker wanted to leave for China. It was reported that Conte even told him “Go to China” in a heated argument last winter.
Towards the end of the season, it became obvious that Costa would be leaving when he waved the fans after being substituted in the final game of the season but the manner in which he left wasn’t expected.
Conte’s text message to Costa while on international duty in June complicated things and gave Costa the power to hold out for a return to Atletico.
The Spanish side themselves tried to take advantage of the situation by making low-ball offers but Chelsea weren’t ready to be bullied and stood firm. The transfer window passed but nothing happened.
However, both clubs have now reached an agreement which could see Chelsea receive as much as £58m for the striker.
The Blues confirmed the development on its official website on Thursday, bringing an end to a three year union.
When asked about Costa in a press conference, Conte said, as reported by Squawka:
“We want to thank him for what he did with this club,” Conte told reporters. “We wish him all the best for the future.”
Costa scored 52 goals and had 16 assists in 89 Premier League games throughout his time at Chelsea. He also became a fan favorite and a very popular player in the dressing room.
Despite his achievements on the pitch, he always wanted to return to Atletico and one can recall that he started pushing for a move back to Spain after his first season here.
Apparently he is happy to have gotten his wishes while Conte would be happy the Costa saga is now resolved.