Chelsea manager Conte dismisses Chinese whispers over Costa as striker prepares to face Hull

Diego Costa

The billionaire owners of a clutch of Chinese clubs can put away the cash they have earmarked for a bid for Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Potent frontman Costa looked to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge after a bust-up with the Blues — and that was set to spark a big-money bidding war to land the services of the Uruguayan hitman.

But it seems now that Costa wants to stay at the west London outfit and it appears that he is vying for a place in the starting line-up for Sunday’s Premier League encounter with struggling Hull City.

That’s according to coach Antonio Conte, who believes any differences there may have been have been settled. Costa is said to have missed the victory at Leicester last week after a well reported spat with one of the club’s fitness coaching staff.

Publicly, the Blues hierarchy were putting his absence from the fixture down to a back injury..

Speaking ahead omg the clash against the Tigers, Conte said: “He is very happy to play with us. I don’t see any problem. I heard a lot of speculation about Diego, but now the most important thing is he trained with us this week, he does not have any pain in his back and can play.

“He is a very important player for us and we all know this. When he stays in good form he has always played with me.”

Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League table, with a group of top clubs chasing them in their pursuit of the league title. Tottenham, in second spot, go to Manchester City tomorrow for a keenly anticipated top flight clash, while Liverpool host Swansea City, who are currently propping up the division and look doomed to relegation.

Manchester United travel to Stoke City, while, on Sunday, Arsenal are at home to Burnley.