CHELSEA ARE EIGHT WINS FROM WINNING THE EPL TITLE SAYS ANTONIO CONTE

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his side need 24 points from their remaining 11 fixtures to win the Premier League title.

Leaders Chelsea, who are yet to face four other teams from the top seven, appear to be running away with the league title as they sit 10 points above the chasing pack but Conte was not thinking too far ahead.

“Now I think we need 24 points to win the league. It’s important for us to go game-by-game without looking forward,” Conte said on Friday.

Conte played down reports suggesting he was stalling over a new contract in the hope of gaining more control of transfers.

“For now it is important for me and the players to be focused on the present to reach our target. I repeat I’m very happy to be Chelsea’s coach,” the Italian added.

“Honestly I have a good relationship. When I need something I speak with the club and we find always to try and find the right solution. Always together.”

Midfielder N’Golo Kante, who joined from Leicester City last year, has had a stellar debut campaign at Chelsea and is being touted to win the player of the year award.

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Diego da Silva Costa

Diego da Silva Costa (Spanish: [ˈdjeɣo ða ˈsilβa ˈkosta], Portuguese: [ˈdʒjeɡu dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈkɔstɐ]; born 7 October 1988), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Chelsea and the Spain national team. He has been described by pundits as a talented striker whose main attributes are his physicality, goalscoring and ability to keep possession. Costa has been criticised and punished for several confrontations with opponents. Costa signed for his first European club in February 2006, Portugal’s Braga. He initially struggled with loneliness and the comparatively cold weather of northern Portugal. Out of action due to the club’s lack of a youth team, he was loaned that summer to Penafiel in the second division, managed by former Portugal international Rui Bento, who desired the “rough diamond.” Through his negotiations with Spain’s Atlético Madrid, Mendes arranged Costa’s transfer for €1.5 million and 50% of the player’s rights in December 2006, [20] but he remained on loan at Braga until the end of the season. Atlético defeated interest from Porto and Recreativo de Huelva for Costa’s signature, with director Jesús García Pitarch admitting that it was a risk to pay so much for an inexperienced player. After five goals in 13 games for Penafiel, he was recalled to Braga in January 2007. Costa was presented by Atlético President Enrique Cerezo on 10 July 2007 as “the new Kaká .” While scout Javier Hernández wished for him to return to fitness in the club’s reserves, García Pitarch instead suggested loaning Costa out immediately. He made his debut on 11 August in the Ciudad de Vigo tournament against Celta de Vigo, replacing Simão at half-time in a penalty shootout victory. Later that month, Costa and Mario Suárez were loaned to Segunda División Celta for the season, and he became a regular in the team, managed by former Ballon d’Or winner Hristo Stoichkov. In the summer of 2009, Costa was desired by FC Barcelona for their reserve team, an approach which Atlético rejected, citing that he remained in their plans. However, frustrated by his lack of opportunities, a now overweight Costa argued with his management and attempted to negotiate a move to Brazil’s Esporte Clube Vitória. On 8 July 2009 Costa was sold to Real Valladolid as part of the deal that sent goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo in the opposite direction, with the transfer including a €1 million buy-back option that could be activated by Atlético at the end of the season. In June 2010, Costa returned to the Colchoneros, initially as a backup to Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán – Atlético also paid an undisclosed sum to Braga to buy all the residual 30% economic rights (the former also had to pay in excess of €833,000 in agent’s fees to Gestifute). He was an unused substitute as Atlético won the 2010 UEFA Super Cup on 27 August. On 26 September, with the injured Agüero on the substitutes bench, Costa scored the game’s only goal at home against Real Zaragoza. On 3 April of the following year, already as a starter after manager Quique Flores demoted Forlán from his position, he netted all of his team’s goals in a 3–2 win at Osasuna. Having completed his medical in June, Chelsea announced on 1 July 2014 that they had agreed to meet the £32 million buy-out clause in Costa’s contract. On 15 July, Chelsea confirmed the completion of the signing of Costa, who signed a five-year contract on a salary of £150,000 a week. Internationally, Costa played twice for Brazil in 2013, but later declared his desire to represent Spain, having been granted Spanish citizenship in September 2013. He made his debut for his adopted nation in March 2014, and represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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