EPL 2016/17: Chelsea to hand Diego Costa contract extension
Chelsea are set to hand Spain’s Diego Costa an improved contract in order to ward off interest from any potential suitors. The 28-year-old has been in lethal form this season having found the net 9 times in 11 appearances already.
And the Chelsea hierarchy are keen to extend the stay of the Spanish international in the London capital according to reports in the Spanish Media. Reports are already abounding that Costa is set to be offered improved terms which will see him extend his stay at Stamford Bridge beyond 2019.
The Simeone connection
Diego Simeone was one of the shortlisted candidates for the position of the Chelsea manager before Antonio Conte was handed the reins. At the time, the Argentinean showed little interest as his goals with Atletico Madrid still hadn’t reached its fruition.
However, Costa who was coached by the Argentinean during his spell at the Vicente Calderon was spotted at a restaurant last week according to reports in the British media. This has led to a certain discomfort in the Chelsea ranks and they are keen to avoid any distractions by offering a long term deal to the Spaniard.
Disillusionment at Stamford Bridge
Last season, Costa’s disillusionment was apparent as he strolled around the pitch having lost the confidence of his then manager, Jose Mourinho. Niggling injuries, bad form and low morale almost led to an exit for the Spaniard in the summer.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Conte has rejuvenated a talented squad and Costa and Hazard have been instrumental in the upsurge of the Blues’ form. Other players who had been ostracised by Mourinho have also found their feet. The likes of Moses and Pedro have found new roles under the Italian and have shown their adaptability by playing in different positions as well.
Costa missed out on international duty having been forced to withdraw from the Spanish squad due to a groin injury. The Spanish international flew back to England for his medical tests but reports emanating from Stamford Bridge state that Costa is a major doubt for the game against Middlesbrough.
However, the match will hopefully see the appearance of Eden Hazard who limped off on Sunday night during the 8-1 rout of Estonia. The Chelsea man was on the score sheet but walked off gingerly after he was the subject of a heavy tackle.
Chelsea currently lie in second place in the Premier League, one point behind early leaders Liverpool.
(Video courtesy: RoMarsh YouTube channel)