Harry Redknapp has his say on Costa, Payet issues

Matt Stead

Harry Redknapp can understand why Diego Costa would be tempted to leave Chelsea.

Costa’s future at the club was thrown into doubt after the striker engaged in a ‘bitter row‘ with manager Antonio Conte last week.

The forward did not feature in the Blues’ 3-0 victory over Leicester on Saturday, with his absence attributed to a back injury.

It has been reported that Chelsea have drawn up a shortlist of potential candidates to replace the striker if he leaves, and Redknapp says he would understand Costa’s thought process if he does quit Stamford Bridge.

‘Costa will be thinking, ‘In 15 years’ time, when I’m living in Spain, who really gives a monkey’s whether I played for Chelsea in 2017? I’ll have £100m in the bank, I’ve got my yacht and a beautiful house — what do I care?’,’ Redknapp wrote in the Evening Standard.

‘Unfortunately, that is probably where his head is at.

‘It is a shame because he’d be selling his career up the river but he has the chance to earn more money than he could ever have imagined when growing up as young boy.

‘I’m not saying they are mercenaries but money has played a big part in their moves to this point, so why should anybody be surprised that is a factor for Costa now?’

Former West Ham manager Redknapp then moved to discuss the future of wantaway Hammers star Dimitri Payet, who is refusing to train with the club.

‘Payet is finished at West Ham,’ he added. ‘He will never play for them again unless something incredible happens or Marseille don’t stump up the cash. The fans won’t accept him now. They can’t. If they start singing his name again, the game has completely gone.

‘Just before Euro 2016, a mate bought a horse and told me he was going to call it We’ve Got Payet. I told him that was a mistake because in six months’ time he’ll have to call it We Had Payet.

‘He said: “Nah, they love him at West Ham.” I said: “Yeah, but you love him more than he loves you and that’s the problem. He’ll probably have a good Euros and want a move.”

‘This talk about him being homesick is rubbish. He wasn’t last year. You can get to Marseille in two hours — how can he be homesick? He hasn’t been the same since he got back from the Euros. Someone has probably been in his ear about a move and he fancies the way of life back in Marseille.’