Inside Diego Costa’s explosive Chelsea exit, from heated argument with Conte to covert intervention by Abramovich
DIEGO COSTA returns to Chelsea on Saturday for the first time since his controversial exit in 2017 and can expect a warm welcome.
The striker will return to Stamford Bridge as a Wolves player after joining them last month.
The Brazilian slugger, who has represented Spain at international level, will turn 34 on Friday.
But everyone involved at Chelsea knows that despite his years of advancement, he will be a handful of kickers in the Premier League clash.
He enjoyed a successful three-season stint at Chelsea after joining Atletico Madrid in 2014.
He scored 52 goals in 89 Premier League appearances for the Blues, winning the title twice and the Carabao Cup during that spell.
Costa became an instant fan favorite under Jose Mourinho, but once Antonio Conte took the helm things started to turn sour.
The Telegraph reported that former owner Roman Abramovich intervened to prevent the star from leaving the club before he eventually went on strike.
The Russian oligarch feared Costa’s exit would derail his winning season in 2017 – which was the club’s last time as champions.
Costa’s head was turned in January by a big move to the Far East – leading to a huge row between him and his then-manager Conte.
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The Italian manager later dropped him from a 3-0 win at Leicester City and told him to train alone after he allegedly shouted ‘go to China’ at him.
But this new report claims Abramovich ‘acted quickly’ by ‘calling a meeting between himself, Conte, former manager Marina Granovskaia and former technical director Michael Emenalo’ as he ordered Costa not be not sold.
He advised everyone present to “find a way to see the season with him and review the situation” at the end of the campaign.
And it was a good thing the now ousted Russian stepped in as the striker returned to action to end the season with 20 goals and title glory.
However, as we reported in June, Conte then took it upon himself to end the fan favorite’s time at the Blues via text message.
The current Tottenham manager, who was sacked by Chelsea 12 months later, sent a stark 27-word message which read: “Hi Diego, I hope you are doing well. Thanks for the season [sic] we spent together. Good luck for next year, but you’re not in my plan.
This led Costa to go on strike and return to South America.
He refused to return to Chelsea but posted regular updates from Brazil on his social media accounts.
Eventually, a deal was reached for Costa to leave Chelsea to join Atletico Madrid in September.
The bitter exit meant he never got the chance to bid farewell to the Blues faithful who adored him – but this weekend he finally has the chance five years after his explosive departure.