Antonio Conte reacted to Diego Costa’s claims that he ‘feels like a criminal’ by hysterically laughing.
The Chelsea boss was confronted by his want-away striker’s quote during a press conference and surprisingly reacted with unbridled laughter.
Conte said: ‘I prefer to laugh, it’s great, it’s great. I can tell you everyone who works in Chelsea knows what happened last season. It’s funny this interview.’
Chelsea’s top scorer last season has been at home in Brazil, refusing to come back to the club in an attempt to force through a move to his former side Atletico Madrid.
But Conte saw the funny side of the situation, despite refusing to field any further questions on the matter.
‘I’m not interested to continue this issue, for me he is the past,’ Conte said.
He told ESPN Brazil: ‘If Atletico and Chelsea don’t come to an agreement and Atletico don’t make a big effort, I can’t keep on wanting to play for a club that isn’t going to make a bigger effort to try and sign me.
‘I don’t know (how much Chelsea are asking), but my agent said that Chelsea want something that Atletico can’t get near.
‘When we heard that (Antonio) Conte didn’t want me anymore, my agent went to find out if there was interest from Atletico for me coming back. But they wouldn’t pay a fortune. Atletico is a team growing every year, a big team, but they can’t pay an extraordinary amount.’
Previously, in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail in Brazil, Costa had outlined his frustration with the impasse over his future.
He said: ‘I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. I didn’t want to leave. I was happy. When the manager does not want you, you have to go.
‘If you were to ask all my team-mates, they’d say the same. They send messages saying “I miss you” and that they love me.’
But the combustible forward remains in South America, stoic in his refusal to rejoin the team-mates he holds such affection for. (DailyMail)