Chelsea manager Antonio Costa insists Diego Costa is "in the past" as far as the club is concerned after laughing off the latest outburst from the exiled striker.

In an interview with ESPN Brasil, Costa, who earns £150,000-a-week at Chelsea on a deal lasting until 2019, accused the Premier League champions of trying to price him out of a return to Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old has refused to return to west London to train with his club and has previously accused the club of treating him like a "criminal."

When the Spain international was brought up during a press conference on Friday afternoon, the Blues boss burst into laughter as he tried to address the striker's latest pleas, before reiterating the player has no future at the club.

"It is great," Conte told reporters after finally managing to rid himself of the giggles when asked about the interview. "I can tell you that everyone who works in Chelsea knows very well what happened with him last season. It's funny, this interview.

"I'm not interested to continue this issue. For me, he's the past."

Chelsea are in action against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the side that pushed them closest in the race to the Premier League title last season. Conte is a firm admirer of the success Mauricio Pochettino has brought to the north London club, suggesting his side need to mirror what Spurs have achieved in building a solid foundation at the club.

"I think Tottenham is doing a great job in this year, Pochettino is doing a great job, creating a good foundation for this club. I think we must do the same, because we don't have this basis like Tottenham, we must work a lot, improve and try to do the same."

Conte admits Chelsea can no longer boast a solid base following the departures of former club stalwarts over the last 12 months, with Branislav Ivanovic and former captain John Terry among those to have moved on.

With these cornerstones gone, Conte hopes to continue building his squad to create a new one for this season and the future.

"I think the season will be difficult for us. We have lost a lot of strong players that created the previous basis, John Terry, [John Obi] Mikel, [Branislav] Ivanovic, [Didier] Drogba, in the last few years. Now we need to find the right way to build. We must also have passion to build something important for the present but also the future because right now we don't have this foundation and for this, we have to work hard and to try improve our squad."

Diego Costa
Costa won the title with Chelsea last season but has been quickly discarded by Conte. Getty Images