Diego Costa left Chelsea for Atletico Madrid during Antonio Conte’s final season at Chelsea.
Costa had agitated for moves to Atletico Madrid and China, before seizing on a text message in which Costa claimed Conte informed him he was no longer part of his plans.
According to Conte, he wanted Costa to leave Chelsea because he wanted players that saw Chelsea as their first choice and not second choice.
Conte told the Telegraph: “First of all, I am a person that doesn’t want to speak badly about a situation with a player from a club that I trained.
“It’s right always to keep good memories and I prefer to keep good memories also about Diego Costa because we won together a league title in an incredible season.
“But, for sure, the truth, we know the truth. The player, his agent, the club and I. We know how many times he asked to go away to Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, during the season to go to China, and at the end of the season to join, again, Atletico Madrid.
“This is the truth and, honestly, in my career I want to have players who are concentrated on my team and not to consider my team a second choice. My team must be the first choice.
“It was an incredible season and I managed, together with the club, the Diego Costa situation in the best possible way. But, in the end, the truth was only that the player wanted to leave many times to Atletico Madrid and during the season to go to China because he wanted the best contract.”