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Diego Costa

'We want to thank him for what he did with this club' - Conte wishes departing Costa all the best

12:50 PM GMT 22/09/2017
Diego Costa Antonio Conte Chelsea
The Spain international will return to former side Atletico Madrid after the two clubs reached an agreement over a transfer on Thursday

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has thanked departing striker Diego Costa for his contribution to the club and wished him well for the future.

Atletico Madrid announced on Thursday that they have reached an agreement with Chelsea to re-sign Costa for a fee thought to be around £58 million.

Costa has not featured for Chelsea since the FA Cup final in May and chose to remain in Brazil this summer rather than return to the Blues due to a dispute between the player and the club.

However, on the back of sealing a return to Atletico, Costa revealed he holds no animosity towards Conte, who allegedly told the striker via text that he was no longer part of his plans.

And Conte has since praised the Spain international's efforts for the club last season, having scored 20 goals in 35 top-flight appearances as Chelsea lifted the Premier League title.

Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's league clash against Stoke City, Conte said of Costa: "We want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future."

Conte was pressed on the alleged falling out between him and Costa, but the Chelsea manager refused to discuss the situation.

When asked about reported problems between himself and Costa, Conte added: "I don't want to continue talking about this issue."

Chelsea travel to Stoke this weekend looking to stretch their six-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Blues 13/2 to win 2-0

Conte's men were held to a 0-0 draw against Arsenal last time out in the league, while Stoke were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle United.