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Antonio Conte: Diego Costa Happy To Stay At Chelsea


Antonio Conte says Diego Costa is happy to stay at Chelsea and has fully recovered from his back injury.

The Spain forward has been linked with a return to former club Atletico Madrid this summer following a difficult second season at Stamford Bridge.

Costa joined Chelsea in 2014 and scored 21 goals during his debut campaign in England as the Blues won the Premier League title and Capital One Cup.

But the 27-year-old struggled to replicate the same form last season, managing just 12 league goals as Chelsea slumped to a 10th-place finish – their first outside of the top six since 1996.

Ahead of Chelsea’s International Champions Cup clash against AC Milan on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Conte revealed Costa was back to full fitness and insisted that he could rely on him ahead of the new season.

“Diego Costa has recovered from his injury,” the Chelsea head coach said. “Tomorrow I decide the formation and the starting 11 but he is available and I am very happy that I can count on him.

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“I repeat that Diego Costa is a Chelsea player and for me this is the most important thing at this moment. He is very happy to stay with us.”

Conte also revealed new signing N’Golo Kante is progressing well after joining up for pre-season training later than the rest of the first-team squad due to his participation at Euro 2016.

Kante has impressed Conte since reporting for pre-season training
Kante has impressed Conte since reporting for pre-season training

The France international joined Chelsea last month from Premier League champions Leicester for £32m and has trained for five days with his team-mates.

“He is in a good shape,” Conte added. “Now he is working on the tactical aspect including through the video analysis, and also on the physical aspect, and I think tomorrow he can play one half or 30 minutes and I am very happy to see him so ready to play.”

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