Chelsea’s remarkable ascent to the Premier League title almost got derailed amidst rumors of a spectacular falling out between Diego Costa and his boss, Antonio Conte.
Ahead of last month’s away trip to Leicester, Costa was not named on the travelling party to face Claudio Ranieri’s men. Conte gave the reason that his striker had a back complaint, but it was however revealed that the player was angling for a move to Tianjin Quaijian, a move which would have seen him pocket £30m a year for the next four years.
Chelsea resisted the overtures of the Chinese clubs, and instead put together a new contract for the fiery striker, which would move him ahead of Eden Hazard in the club’s pay structure.
Chelsea won that game at the King Power stadium 3-0 courtesy of a brace by Marcos Alonso while Conte and Costa made up, and the player was back in the starting lineup in the next game against Marco Silva’s Hull, where he scored and made a hand gesture to silence critics of his loyalty to the West London outfit.
The Chinese club released a statement last month that said that Costa’s agent, Jorge Mendes indeed met with the club’s representatives to thrash out a deal.
Costa’s current deal expires in 2019, but if he agrees an extension, a new deal will keep him at the club till he is 33 years old. Conte has managed to get the best out of Costa’s fiery on-the-pitch attitude, a move which has paid off and has seen him collect only one yellow card in 5 months.
His new deal is rumoured to be in the region of £220,000 a week, a deal which moves him to the top 10 of the highest earners in England.