Diego Costa has shed light on a phone conversation he had with Jose Mourinho soon after being expelled from the Chelsea squad by Antonio Conte.
The striker claimed 20 goals under the Italian last season en route to Premier League glory, only to be then informed by Conte via text message that he was no longer part of his plans.
He has been ordered to train with the reserves but remains in Brazil with his family as he tries to force through a move to Atletico Madrid before the window shuts, receiving fines from Chelsea in the process.
And Costa, in an interview with the Daily Mail, revealed that Mourinho personally called him to pass on his best wishes.
“Jose has called me, direct to my phone, just to check I am OK and to see how I am,” he said.
“He wished me good luck. I never had any problems with Jose, we have a strong relationship. Everyone was very sad when things didn’t work out in the end for him at Chelsea.”
Reading that interview in full, one thing becomes abundantly clear: that ‘Judas’ remains number one in the Chelsea dressing room.
Conte, for all his touchline antics, is shown to be a cold, emotionless figure, so much so that he couldn’t even bother to meet Costa face to face to inform him that his Chelsea career was over. Players admire honesty and transparency – something Mourinho will always offer – and Conte’s actions constitute a deep lack of respect and poor man-management.
The Portuguese is regularly portrayed as a pantomime villain, but he has a heart and, most of all, cares about his players – both past and present. Meanwhile, Conte has caused a major rift in the Chelsea dressing room by inexplicably ostracising a popular figure in the dressing room.