- Antonio Conte has revealed he will shake hands with Diego Costa when Chelsea face Atletico Madrid in their Champions League tie
- The former Chelsea striker has insisted that he bears no grudges with his former boss
- The Blues boss thanked the Spanish striker for his effort in making Chelsea win the Premier League last season
Antonio Conte has shown he is ready to bury the hatchet with ‘bad-boy’ striker Diego Costa by insisting he will shake hands with the striker when they meet on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 ahead of their Champions League group stage showdown.
Costa is set to be unveiled at Atletico after Chelsea and the Spanish giants reached a £67million agreement for the striker.
Asked if he would shake his hand with his former player, manager Conte said: “Yeah, I have no problem.”
Costa went AWOL, asking to leave three times last season and then going on strike to force a move back to Atletico before accusing the London club of treating him like a “criminal.”
It became one of the ugliest transfer sagas in Premier League history and Conte was reluctant to offer any sort of praise for Costa despite him helping Chelsea to win the title last season.
The Blues gaffer said: “For every player, for every single player, the past stays there. If you did well in the past, okay.
“I repeat there is a lack of respect for my players, because Diego is an Atletico player.
“Don’t forget we won together last season. I repeat: for sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us. Not only last season but in the period that he played for Chelsea.
He added: “But I think every single player was important last season, we won the title, we won the league, maybe it was a big surprise, and also to reach the final of the FA Cup, every player performed fantastic last season.
“I want to thank every player who played last season for Chelsea.”
Costa flew into Madrid on Friday September 22 insisting he did not bear any grudges with his former manager as he prepares to complete the switch.
“There’s nothing of the sort there, I’m not upset with anybody,” said Costa. “I have no bitterness towards anyone. Everything is cool.” He said.
Discussing his relationship with the Chelsea fans, he added: “Everybody knows how much I love the fans.”
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