Conte laughs off Costa complaints: It's funny - but now he's in the past!

Antonio Conte Diego Costa
Clive Rose
The former Juventus boss has responded to claims that the Blues are pricing their striker out of a move with humour rather than anger

Antonio Conte has branded Diego Costa's recent interviews regarding his wish to be sold by Chelsea as "funny" and feels the player is now part of the club's past.

The Spain international striker revealed earlier in the summer that Conte had sent him a text message to tell him that he would be surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge this summer.

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Costa has since spent much of his time in Brazil amid interest from Atletico Madrid, with the player keen to return to his former club in the Spanish capital.

But the 28-year-old has come out in recent days to complain at Chelsea's insistence that Atleti pay in the region of £40 million for his services and believes the Premier League champions should not be able to dictate his future after telling him he could leave.

Conte, though, has hit back, and hinted that Costa was told to leave for a specific reason and believes it is humourous that he would now make demands of the club.

When asked about Costa's recent claims that he is being treated like a criminal, the former Juventus boss said: "It's great, I prefer to laugh, it's great, it's great.

"Everyone at Chelsea knows what happened with him, it's funny this interview."

Goal understands Chelsea have asked Costa to return to training in a bid to maintain his fitness having originally given him an extended break to finalise his future during pre-season.

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But Conte insists that the player is now part of the club's past and would not be drawn on whether he would be open to selecting him should he forced to stay in west London.

"I'm not interested to continue this issue. For me it's in the past."

Costa is working with his legal team in a bid to complete a move away from Stamford Bridge and has also been linked with AC Milan and Everton.