Chelsea fans wondering where Diego Costa was this weekend will be disheartened to know he’s some 5,000 miles away in north-eastern Brazil.
And what’s more, the Spain international, who’s claimed the club have treated him like a ‘criminal’, has had nothing but good things to say about former manager Jose Mourinho.
But the less said about Antonio Conte, the better.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, the Brazilian-born forward has revealed he’s even been in contact with the current Manchester United manager during his self-imposed exile.
Speaking highly of the Portuguese gaffer, he said: “Jose has called me, direct to my phone, just to check I am OK and to see how I am.
“He wished me good luck. I never had any problems with Jose, we have a strong relationship.
“Everyone was very sad when things didn’t work out in the end for him at Chelsea.”
Mourinho was the man who signed Costa for Chelsea from Atletico Madrid back in 2014, with the towering forward leading the Blues to the 2014–15 Premier League title.
And his comments were in stark contrast to what he had to say about Conte, who made headlines earlier in the summer thanks to a text message he sent to Costa during the international break, informing him he’s no longer in his plans at Chelsea.
Speaking candidly about the Italian, Costa said: “I respect him as a great coach.
“He has done a good job and I can see that, but as a person, no. He is not a coach who is very close with his players.
“He is very distant. He doesn’t possess charisma.”
Costa also revealed that his Chelsea teammates have been keeping in contact with him regularly during his time in Brazil.
“They send messages saying ‘I miss you’ and that they love me,” he said.
“I am always talking with the boys, particularly Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Willian.
“We have banter over WhatsApp.”
Crikey, just imagine that WhatsApp group.
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