Ballack applauds Chelsea manager
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.