Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has suggested that Diego Costa has an offer from Chelsea and said he would not stand in his way should he want to earn more money at Stamford Bridge.
El Confidencial recently claimed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had approved a 60 million euro deal for the Spain international this summer, with the knee injury suffered by Costa’s former Atletico teammate Radamel Falcao having ended plans to make a move for the Monaco man.
Simeone told Al Primer Toque that he was not surprised that Atletico’s players had attracted interest from richer clubs.
“[Chelsea] are very powerful,” he said. “They have [Samuel] Eto'o, a great player, but they will think about alternatives and Costa could be one of them. He knows that on one side he could earn more money, but here he is going to compete. It would surprise me if the best teams in the world did not also come looking for Miranda, [Diego] Godin...
“If Costa decides to go, it will be OK with me. Our philosophy is to make players better -- for us, that is something fundamental. When Falcao left for Monaco, you could not say no to him. He gave us life.”
Atletico being paired with Chelsea in the Champions League semifinal draw has led to speculation that the potential deal for Costa, 25, could also figure in negotiations around whether on-loan Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 21, can play against his parent club in the upcoming games as well as whether he will play again on loan at the Estadio Vicente Calderon next season.
With regard to the Champions League matches, UEFA has insisted that Chelsea cannot prevent the Belgium international playing, but Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has indicated that Courtois will not play unless the clubs come to an agreement.
Simeone, however, said both he and Courtois were confident the goalkeeper would face the Blues.
“I have no doubt that he will be there against Chelsea,” Simeone said. “He does not have any doubts either. It is not something to be worried about. I still do not know where he will play next year.”
He was also positive about the injury Costa sustained when he collided with a post while scoring late in Atletico’s 2-0 La Liga win at Getafe on Sunday.
“With the speed of the play, I was not so worried,” Simeone said. “Gabi told me he [Costa] was cut. After the game they stitched him up. [Costa] is a bull. The game needed that goal and he stuck his leg in. That is an example [of the players’ commitment], but so is what was done by Courtois, Miranda, Gabi… them all. We play every minute as if it were the last, it does not matter if it is a friendly in Colombia or the last game against Getafe.”
Costa has already said he will be available for Friday’s game against Elche.