Antonio Conte maintains that Diego Costa is “very happy” at Chelsea, with the Blues boss confident that his top goalscorer will remain at the club “for a long time”.
The Spain international has seen his future at Stamford Bridge called into question on a regular basis this season.
Costa revealed at the turn of the calendar year that he had come close to sealing a return to Atletico Madrid last summer, while talk of big-money offers from China understandably turned the 29-year-old’s head.
Chelsea, though, have remained adamant throughout the ongoing speculation that their 15-goal frontman is going nowhere.
Conte is not about to waver in that stance, with the Italian of the opinion that the burly striker will still be leading the line in 2017-18.
He told the BBC’s Premier League Show: “Is everything calm now? Yes.
“Diego is a really important player.
“The situation is very clear. He is very happy to stay with us. He is very happy to fight for the title.
“Will he stay here for a long time? Yes, I think so. I think so.
“I see him every day and I see his commitment, his behaviour is very involved in the team. He loves this club.”
While confident that Costa’s services can be retained, Conte admits that the money on offer in the Chinese Super League has become a problem – with Chelsea having seen Ramires, Oscar and John Obi Mikel head to Asia in recent times.
He added: "It is a threat. It's very difficult to manage this type of situation.
"These offers are very strange. £60m for Oscar. A lot of money for the players.
"This is not the right way to pay a lot of money to keep the players at the club.
"As clubs we must have the right vision and not to lose that."
High-profile exits and gossip surrounding key men have not been a distraction for Chelsea this season, with Conte’s men having opened up a nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.