Diego Costa exit rumours have not blunted team spirit, insists Antonio Conte

Diego Costa exit rumours have not blunted team spirit, insists Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has stated that Diego Costa's rumoured exit has not effected the team spirit

Danial Kennedy

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has stated that the rumours of an exit for star striker Diego Costa have not changed the unity of his side.

One of the most important things

Costa has looked a different player in the current campaign compared to last, with the Spaniard having scored 14 league goals in just 19 appearances.

However, the striker was absent from last week's 3-0 win over Leicester City, citing a back injury for his absence.

If the rumours are to be believed, Conte and Costa were involved in a training ground bust-up, as Costa was linked with a possible to the Chinese Super League.

He is expected to be back in contention for Sunday's game with Hull, but Conte insisted that these exit rumours have not done damage to the team's unity.

"I found the same atmosphere we had before his injury," Conte told Sky Sports. "If you want to win something during the season it's important to create this unity in the team."

"We're showing this," he stated. "We're top of the table."

"This is one of the most important things." the Italian added. "I'm pleased to see this unity in my team."


Seeing his best moments

The front three of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian was brought in with the 28-year-old's absence, and proved once again that they had a complete turnaround from last season's horror show.

One man that stood out to Conte was Pedro who scored the third goal at the King Power, and the Italian stated that the former Barcelona man looks a different player.

"I think all of us can see his performance," he said. "We are seeing the best moment of Pedro.

"I think that this Pedro played this type of football when he was at Barcelona," the Italian admitted. "Pedro, for sure now is a really important player for us."

"In the same way Willy [Willian] has recovered good form," the coach stressed. "Eden and also Diego."

"I think that now we have four players," Conte concluded. "That are playing very, very well, in a fantastic way."

Chelsea will take on Hull City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, January 22 with kick-off at 4:30pm GMT.