Antonio Conte says he is “confident” that Diego Costa will stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of this season.
However, the Chelsea boss played down reports that his star striker had already agreed an extended deal.
Costa’s future was thrown into doubt in January, with suggestions he had received an offer from a Chinese Super League club.
The striker’s behind-the-scenes row with a Chelsea fitness coach, and his omission from the squad for the trip to Leicester, only heightened the speculation.
But Conte, while repeating his previous comments about wanting to wait until the end of the season, seemed more relaxed about the chances of Costa staying.
He said: “Yes, I’m confident. But I think now it’s very important to be focused on the present and not to look so far forward.
“Then at the end of the season, we’ll see the situation.”