- Antonio Conte has denied reports of a rift with star striker Diego Costa
- The Italian says Costa missed the game against Leicester City through injury
- Conte also denies report of an offer from a Chinese club for the Spanish striker
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has denied reports of a clash with star striker Diego Costa during a training session.
The Italian, speaking after Chelsea's 3 - 0 win over Leicester City however insisted that any problems in the Chelsea camp will be kept ‘in-house’.
Conte saw his Premier League leaders triumph 3-0 at Costa, who was omitted amid reports of an argument with fitness coach Julio Tous and interest from clubs in China.
But the Italian insisted an injury was behind Costa’s absence at the King Power Stadium and claimed any problems with his players will be dealt with within the dressing room.
“I have read a lot of speculation about this topic,” said Conte, who said he will assess Costa’s fitness next week.
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“I can tell you if there are problems – and I repeat ‘if’ – with players, I am used to solving them in the changing rooms, not outside, not in press conferences.
“Trust me, what I told you is the truth. If we start to think ‘if an offer arrives, if, if, if ...
“I don’t like to answer these types of questions. If, if. We must enjoy this victory. It wasn’t easy to win against Leicester.
“It’s important to respect our victory and our players after a good performance."
The Italian however gave his version of the story involving his row with Costa and an alleged offer from a Chinese Super League club
“If you want to know the truth, I’m ready to tell the truth. On Tuesday, during the training session, Diego stopped because he felt a pain in his back.
“From that moment he didn’t train during the week. For this season today he wasn’t available for the starting 11 or the bench. This is the reason, the truth.
“I don’t know anything about this [offer from China]. The club did not inform me about this. That can be only speculation.”
Chelsea's win over Leicester City puts them seven points ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs after 21 games.