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Antonio Conte confident of keeping Diego Costa at Chelsea

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte insists he remains “confident” that Diego Costa will sign a new deal with Chelsea.

The Spanish international striker was the subject of speculation during the January transfer window amid big-money interest from China.

Costa was omitted from the squad at one stage by Conte but they have since solved their differences and the Blues’ leading goalscorer is in line to help Chelsea push for Premier League and FA Cup honours in the remainder the season.

Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian were reportedly willing to pay the striker £30m a year but recent reports suggest Costa and the Stamford Bridge club are in advanced talks over an extension to his current deal, which still has two full seasons to run.

Conte insists he prefers to wait until the season is over before worrying about contracts but has confidence that his star striker is not heading for the exit door.

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“Yes, I’m confident, but I repeat now it’s important to keep the great concentration for the present,” said Conte.

Chelsea are eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League and face Championship side Wolves on Saturday for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Former Juventus manager Conte is determined not to allow distractions get in the way of the pursuit of silverware.

“I don’t know about this situation because I think now it’s very important to be focused on the present and not to look so far forward,” Conte said of Costa’s contract talks.

“I think now for the players, for the people who work for Chelsea and for me, it’s important to be focused on the present. At the end of the season we’ll see the situation.”

Chelsea are 1.33 to beat Wolves at Molineux while Paul Lambert’s side are 9.50 to follow up their win over Liverpool by beating Chelsea, with the draw 5.25.