Chelsea boss Mourinho dismisses talk of Costa returning to Atletico
Jose Mourinho insists Diego Costa is content at Chelsea in response to reports linking the Spanish striker with a return to Atletico Madrid.
Costa was substituted with five minutes of the first half remaining as the Barclays Premiership League champions ended their season by dispatching Sydney FC 1-0 at ANZ Stadium, Loic Remy with an excellent goal.
Mourinho revealed that Costa’s demeanour around the squad is not that of a player seeking to leave.
‘He’s the guy responsible for everything good we have in the dressing room," the Chelsea boss said on the club’s official website.
"He’s so happy, so funny. He enjoys every minute and is the happiest guy in the dressing room. If this is unhappiness I’m happy with that. He was not happy with the news."
Mourinho was pleased with Costa’s attitude as Chelsea, who fielded a host of regulars including Eden Hazard and John Terry, brought down the curtain on a long season in front of a crowd of 83,598 in Sydney.
"Diego tried, but we didn’t want to take any risks. I told him to give the fans at least half an hour and he played until the 40th minute. We felt that was enough," Mourinho said.
Mourinho was far less impressed with English prospect Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea’s great hope of producing a home-grown first-team regular.
The Portuguese stated that his relationship with Loftus-Cheek had moved "one step back" for what he viewed as a lazy performance by the 19-year-old midfielder, who departed Sydney with a scathing assessment from his manager ringing in his ears.
"Ruben said he had a pain in his back, but what I was feeling was that he only had the pain when Sydney had the ball," Mourinho said.
"When Chelsea had the ball he was playing very well, but when Sydney had the ball I think he was more impressed by watching Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel work, instead of him working.
"So, with Ruben, it’s one step back in terms of my relationship with him. If he doesn’t know what it is to play for me and Chelsea, it’s one step back.
"He has to learn that at 19 you have to run three times more than the others, you have to play to your limits and not play like a superstar with the ball at your feet because this is not Under-18s.
"The Under-18 competition is too easy for him. He’s too good to play in the Under-18s.
"But I don’t accept that when he’s playing in midfield with Mikel and Matic, when we don’t have the ball he doesn’t press, doesn’t have intensity and he’s waiting for everybody else to recover the ball.
"I don’t accept that in the superstars so how can I accept that in a kid? He has to learn what it takes to play for us."