Antonio Conte determined to keep Diego Costa at Chelsea

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Football News

Antonio Conte was only confirmed as Chelsea manager on Monday afternoon, but the Italian boss is already facing his first big challenge, according to the Guardian.

While he will not officially move to Stamford Bridge until Italy's Euro 2016 campaign comes to an end, attention is already turning towards the current first-team squad.

After a drab season in the Premier League and with Champions League football set to be absent for at least one season, several prominent members of the squad are believed to be keen to leave in the summer.

Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard have both hinted at moves away but it is Diego Costa who, despite remaining silent, is thought to be the most determined to seal a passage back to La Liga.

Ironically, it is the striker who Conte is most keen to keep. According to another report in the Mirror, the former Juventus boss is happy to cash in on Courtois and will sell Hazard for the right price, but Costa remains an important part of his plans.

Tough task

So plans are already set for a meeting between the two in which Conte will try to convince Costa to stay in west London. However, that is easier said than done as the Spain international continues to struggle to adapt to life in England's capital.

While he was more than happy to move to Stamford Bridge in 2014, leaving Atletico Madrid after a successful La Liga campaign, Costa has failed to adapt to Premier League football. Not only is he struggling with the lack of sunshine and the language but he also believes the English press have treated him unfairly.

Atletico Madrid have already expressed a desire to bring him back to La Liga and Costa is even willing to take a pay cut on his £185,000-a-week wages to make it happen. That is, of course, unless Conte can convince him to stay.

Cutting loose

The same cannot be said for Courtois, who Conte appears happy to sell. The young Belgian goalkeeper would generate significant transfer funds and Conte believes he can replace him with Southampton's Fraser Forster.

There is also a desire to keep Hazard at the club but some officials believe his head has already been turned. While interest from Real Madrid is on the wane, Paris Saint-Germain are still keen on a deal.

It is also claimed that Conte's arrival will not change John Terry's situation. The veteran defender took it upon himself to announce his departure after Chelsea refused to extend his contract. The club had told him to wait for the new manager to make a final decision, but Conte has no plans to keep the captain on board.

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La Liga
Transfer News
Premier League
Eden Hazard
Diego Costa

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