Police raid Diego Costa’s home, his lawyer says ex-Chelsea striker is not financier of the criminal racket

Diego Costa’s lawyer insists the football star is innocent of any wrongdoing after he was probed by police over alleged links to an online betting scandal.

The 32-year-old, now playing for Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, was identified earlier this week as the footballer being investigated.

According to The Sun, Detectives in the state of Sergipe where Costa was born went public with their operation on Thursday.

They say they were probing the practice of alleged crimes including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud involving online betting site Esportenet.

The footballer, 32, has yet to make any official comment.

But overnight his lawyer Aurelio Belem, confirming the Spanish international’s home in the Brazilian city of Lagarto had been searched, said the footballer had done nothing wrong and would be contacting police himself to give a statement voluntarily.

Mr Belem, denying police claims Costa was the alleged financier of the criminal racket, told local media: “A search took place of his house, which is his home in Lagarto. State police were received by his relatives.

“That search took place because Diego, as a European citizen, as someone who was living in Madrid in Spain, placed legal, legitimate bets on games.

“Some way or other, that was detected and became the focus of checks.

“Police carried out their search as and when they wanted, without any interference.

“They took nothing, nothing was seized, no documents or money. Absolutely nothing.

“The search was unsuccessful in the sense nothing was confiscated.

“There was a search but no seizures. Nothing was removed from the house.”

He added, claiming the footballer would be contacting police to offer to make a statement: “The truth is that Diego wants to know what the accusation against him is, although in a way there is no accusation from a juridical point of view.

“There’s no basis for this investigation.

“We all know the onus of proof is on the accuser and we’re relaxed about that.”

(Watch Video) Timo Werner scores! 84’… Chelsea 2-1 Southampton

This time it counts, it definitely counts!

It all starts with Barkley whose long ball is met by Azpilicueta down the right flank.

The Chelsea captain immediately plays the ball inside the area where Werner taps it behind McCarthy’s net!

Half Time: Chelsea Player Ratings vs Southampton

Edouard Mendy

Got away with a near howler early on. Untroubled. 6

Cesar Azpilicueta

Bombed forward at will. 7

Trevoh Chalobah

Goalscorer. Solid defensively too. 8

Thiago Silva

Rolls Royce at times. 7

Antonio Rudiger

Passing was iffy. 6

Ben Chilwell

Dovetailed nicely with Hudson-Odoi. 6

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Elegant and tough. 7

Mateo Kovacic

Better than in midweek. 7

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Clearly not a right wing-back. 7

Timo Werner

Unlucky to have a goal ruled out. 6

Romelu Lukaku

Lovely finish ruled out for offside. 7

Half Time Report: Chelsea fans boo match officials at the end of first half

The Blues lead 1-0 at the break but have had the ball in the net on three occasions.

Trevoh Chalobah’s goal stood but Romelu Lukaku and then Timo Werner have seen efforts ruled out for offside and then the softest of fouls in the build-up by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea supporters boo the officials as they head down the tunnel.

The Blues opened the scoring just after nine minutes when Ben Chilwell’s corner-kick from the right area was flicked backwards by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who found Trevoh Chalobah on the far post.

The defender got a superb diving header and beat Saints keeper Alex McCarthy.

The west Londoners thought they doubled the lead a while later when Antonio Rudiger put together a superb run from defence and set Romelu Lukaku up in the area where he beat McCarthy but the linesman’S flag went up for offside.

Chelsea got another goal soon after when Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross from the left found Timo Werner on the far post where he scored with a brilliant header.

However, a VAR check deemed there was a foul on Kyle Walker-Peters by Cesar Azpilicueta in the build-up, which infuriated the hosts’ manager Thomas Tuchel who got booked

(Watch Video) Chalobah scores! 9’… Chelsea 1-0 Southampton

Chelsea are ahead thanks to Chalobah’s beautiful diving header.

Chilwell delivers a corner-kick from the right and Loftus-Cheek jumps higher than anyone else to flick the ball with his head.

Chalobah gets it on the far post and sends it to the back of McCarthy’s net!

Cristiano Ronaldo on subs’ bench for Everton clash, Solskjaer explains his decision as Man United legend reacts to manager’s action

Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped from Manchester United’s starting line-up for today’s Premier League clash against Everton.

Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the huge decision to leave the Portuguese superstar on the bench.

Speaking to MUTV before the game, Solskjaer explained the eye-catching decision, which has seen Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani come into the team.

“Wednesday night was a big physical and emotional output so we had to freshen it up,” said Solskjaer.

“An early kick-off, the start of this game is going to be very important and we’ve got some very good players coming on. It’s a team we think can take charge of the game.

On Cavani and Martial, he said: “They know they’re good players and if we’re going to be successful this season we need to rotate, manage the minutes and everyone’s together.

“They might be required and they’re all ready to come on. We’ve had a chat about subs making the impact. They did on Wednesday and that’ll be the case at other times this season too.”

Solskjaer’s decision to exempt Ronaldo from the starting line-up has been defended by Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand said: “You would expect to be rested at his age. But he’s bringing in Cavani, so it’s not like he’s bringing in someone who is substandard. What I’m really surprised at is that he’s playing Martial and not brought in someone like Lingard, who’s been making an impact off the bench in recent weeks.”

Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho have also been left out of the starting XI.

The clash against the Toffees at Old Trafford will be Ronaldo’s 200th Premier League appearance for United if he plays some part in the game.

Chelsea receive Antonio Rudiger boost as contract extension talks continue

Antonio Rudiger is happy with Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel despite garnering interest from a host of top European clubs, reports say.

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are said to be interested in making a move for the German centre-back.

He is believed to be happy at Chelsea and talks are still ongoing over a new contract.

Reputable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that there is no agreement on a salary.

Despite this, Rudiger remains happy at Chelsea and with boss Tuchel.

Romano said on Twitter: “Chelsea are still negotiating with Toni Rudiger agents over new contract.

“Talks ongoing – there’s currently no agreement on salary but it’s not over as Rudiger is so happy with Chelsea and Tuchel.”