Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Diego Costa will remain at Chelsea for many years to come.
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Following Costa’s benching and a verbal spat with Mourinho both during a UEFA Champions League game at Macabbi Tel-Aviv last month and then throwing his warm-up bib towards the coach when an unused sub during Chelsea’s recent draw at Tottenham Hotspur, speculation has been rife that Costa could be sold by the struggling reigning Premier League champs.
Hold your horses.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Leicester City on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) Mourinho believes Costa is at Stamford Bridge for the long haul.
“He is happy here,” Mourinho said. “He’s another one who has, I think, three more years [on his] contract. I see him staying at Chelsea for three more years, no problem. I see that.”
With rumors claiming Costa has a buyout clause in his contract and his former club Atletico Madrid were ready to fork out the cash to take him back to the Vicente Calderon, Mourinho laughed off suggestions Costa would rejoin Atleti.
“He didn’t say that. He said in football you never know,” Mourinho said. “Atletico is a great club. Madrid is a great city. La Liga is a great league. So why can’t a player at 27 years old think that in football it’s possible to be back? I don’t see that as a problem.”
Many were nodding their heading and saying “yeah, maybe it’s for the best” when the reports of Costa leaving Chelsea emerged.
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Those summations come after Costa has scored just four goals in 19 outings for Chelsea this season as the Spanish international striker has suffered in a subdued 2015 which has included two three-game retrospective bans for violent conduct and a distinct lack of goals. Yet, in midweek against FC Porto in the Champions League he looked back to his best as he bullied the Portuguese sides defense and helped Chelsea qualify for the last 16 with ease.
If Costa returns to anywhere near the form which saw him score seven times in his first four PL games last season, then Chelsea’s plan to surge back up the PL table and at least into the top six could take flight.
Costa is a key cog in the Chelsea machine. Whatever you think about his antics, having him back fit, hungry and ready to work hard to do whatever it takes in the months, and years, to come is a huge plus for Mourinho and the Blues.