Bal­lack ap­plauds Chelsea man­ager

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

FOR­MER Chelsea mid­fielder Michael Bal­lack has praised man­ager An­to­nio Conte’s han­dling of Diego Costa af­ter the striker re­port­edly tried to force through a lu­cra­tive move to China this month. Costa, the club’s top scorer this sea­son, was re­cently left out of the Chelsea squad with a back strain amid Bri­tish me­dia spec­u­la­tion of a row with back room staff and a pos­si­ble trans­fer to Chi­nese side Tian­jin Quan­jian. The 28-year-old Costa, how­ever, si­lenced doubters af­ter the Spain in­ter­na­tional scored on his re­turn in Sun­day’s 2-0 win over Hull City. Bal­lack also felt play­ers could be dis­tracted by the cur­rent mar­ket sit­u­a­tion but urged them to be wary of Chi­nese riches, say­ing the sums be­ing of­fered were not nor­mal.

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