Conte thanks de­part­ing Costa

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte thanked Diego Costa yes­ter­day for his con­tri­bu­tion at Stam­ford Bridge, af­ter the club agreed a move for the striker with Atletico Madrid.

Costa scored 52 Pre­mier League goals to help Chelsea lift two ti­tles in three years be­fore Conte told the 28-year-old via text mes­sage ear­lier this year that he was no longer needed at the club.

A Chelsea con­firmed on Thurs­day they had agreed terms with the La Liga side for the trans­fer with Span­ish news­pa­per El Mundo say­ing the fee would be ¤55 mil­lion.

When asked whether his re­la­tion­ship de­te­ri­o­rated with the striker over the last few months, Conte chose to fo­cus on the fu­ture of the club.

“We want to thank him (Costa) for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the fu­ture,” the Ital­ian told re­porters.

“The past is not im­por­tant. If you did well in the past it’s okay but we have to work for the present and above all for the fu­ture.

“I don’t for­get that we won to­gether last sea­son. I re­peat for sure we want to thank him for his ef­fort last sea­son, not only last sea­son but the pe­riod he played for Chelsea.”

Since his ar­rival at Tot­ten­ham in the sum­mer of 2014, Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino has sought to build a col­lec­tive spirit

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