Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke before Hull City game claiming that all players in the squad are available for Sunday’s game against the Tigers.
The Blues manager started speaking about Diego Costa, who was officially out last week for back pain but was also the protagonist of many speculations of a possible move to China after a huge offer came to him:
“Diego is available, he trained very well, he’s fit, he doesn’t have pain in his back, so he is available,” the Italian coach revealed in the beginning of his press conference.
“Sunday and Monday he trained with a fitness coach to join us again on Tuesday, he restarted to train and he did it very well, to prepare his coming back on Tuesday, he did it only to prepare his body to have a good session on Tuesday.”
The Italian boss also revalead that all the players are available for Sunday’s clash and he has no injuries concerns.
Conte was asked if he had a private chat with Costa to discuss his situation:
“I have chats with my players every week, single meetings and all together.
“I think Diego wants to stay at Chelsea, he’s very happy with us, this idea [to move] is very far in his mind, he’s happy to stay here. I don’t see any problem about him.
“After the game against Leicester I told you the truth[ about Costa], I read a lot of speculations about Diego, the most important thing now is that he trains with us. Diego is an important player for us and we all know this.
“I will see on Sunday if I will start him against Hull City.
Should the Spanish striker play on Sunday it would 100th app for him with Chelsea:
“It would be a great achievement for him, I hope to celebrate this with a win,” Conte commented on this.
Asked if Costa is the best striker he has worked with, the Italian manager replied:
“It’s always difficult to say that a player is better than another one, for sure Diego is a really good striker.”
Bournemouth placed a 10m offer for Chelsea second keeper Asmir Begovic and Conte admitted the club and him are considering it:
“Asmir is an important player for me, on and off the pitch, he knows that. It’s true there is this offer, the club and I are evaluating this offer, it’s right to find the right solution. We are evaluting this, the club and Asmir knows my position, that is that he is an important player for me.
Asked about who will he choose for his attack since all of his players are in good form, he said:
“It’s not easy to make a decision at the moment, it’s not easy because all of my attacking players are in a good form. It’s good when you have many players to choose, maybe I sleep one hour less to take the best decision, I know that I have to pick three players, if someone stays out is not for punishing him or other reasons, I also consider who is the opponent, for me it’s not easy to take the best decision.
Conte was also asked if Nathan Ake came back to stay or if he was called back from Bournemouth to be sold like Patrick Bamford, who moved to Middlesbrough a couple of days ago:
“He came back with us because I evaluated our situation and I think he is a good strengthening for us, I think he improved a lot in this one year and half where he played more, he has been working with us for two weeks, he is starting to go in our idea of football, I am pleased to help him.
Conte was asked, again, about Diego Costa’s future:
“I think now it’s important to be concentrated on the present, not the future, we have to be strong now, then we see. He is not distracted, he is a good player, a good person, he just missed one game, the last one, but now he’s ready to come back with us. He’s back to fight until the end, to fight to win the title.
Speaking about Chelsea third goalkeeper Eduardo, that can become the second one should Begovic move from the Blues in this transfer window, Conte said:
“He is a great sign for us, for sure, he arrived to be the third goalkeeper, the positions are very clear in my mind and my team, he is working very well, he’s helping me, Thibaut and Asmir, he helps the goalkeepers coaches. Now he is the third keeper, for Sunday we have this situation for sure, then we will see.
Former Dutch striker Marco Van Basten has joined FIFA executive board and proposed to change some football playing rules, like offside, that he wanted to eliminate:
“I don’t like this suggestion, I think if you start to change a lot of rules is not good, because football is this. This rules make football very attractive, football is football, I don’t like ideas taken from other sports.
The Italian manager revealed also which is the challenge that expexcts his team in the Hull City game:
“Our challenge with Hull is to keep the right concentration. This kind of game are really important. For me Hull City is a good team, they played a great game against Bournemouth, they changed the coach and this usually brings motivation to the players, we need to play 100% to beat them.”