Courtois: Costa rumours won’t destabilise Chelsea

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The Blues' goalkeeper insists the club's leading goalscorer was injured and any suggestions otherwise are just attempts to derail their title bid

Thibaut Courtois insists he and his Chelsea teammates won’t let the rumours surrounding Diego Costa disrupt their Premier League title challenge.

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Costa was dropped from the squad for Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Leicester last Saturday amid reports of a training ground bust-up with manager Antonio Conte following a reported £30 million per year offer from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.

However, the Spain international is expected to be reinstated to the side when Chelsea host Hull City on Sunday and Courtois insists there is no truth to the rumours of his impending departure and that Costa was in fact injured.

“Obviously it was not a nice rumour that went around that he had a fight or anything,” the Belgian goalkeeper told Sky Sports.

“He had an injury and couldn't train and obviously if you are not 100 per cent fit and you feel you cannot play, it's logic that you don't train with the team.

“This week he could train again and he trained very well, so he might play on Sunday.

"He looks very committed, we cannot doubt that about Diego. You can see that in all games he plays.

"Nobody in this team doubted it, so when the day before the game against Leicester that came out it was a bit of a surprise to the players but it didn't affect us in any way because we know what's the truth. The rest is maybe just trying to destabilise Chelsea, but we don't let it."

Costa has scored 14 times in the Premier League this season – the joint highest - and a win against Hull could see Chelsea go as many as nine points clear at the top of the table, but Courtois feels it’s too early to suggest the title is theirs to lose.

"If you're on top they will say that, but there's still 17 games to go and a lot of points to win and lose,” he said.

"Obviously this month is important for us. You have two big games coming up after Hull with Liverpool and Arsenal. If you can get a good result against both of those teams you make the gap maybe bigger.

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"There is still a long way to go. Top games is one thing, but going away to Stoke or Burnley are difficult games where you can lose points."