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By ESPN Staff

Simeone: Atletico can replace Costa

Diego Simeone expects Atletico Madrid to rebound well from the loss of Diego Costa, while also wishing his former striker well at Chelsea.

Costa made a long-awaited move to Stamford Bridge after the Blues met his buy-out clause of 32 million pounds.

The 25-year-old led Atletico to the title in La Liga last season, scoring 36 goals in all competitions, and Simeone thanked him for his efforts.

"I am always going to be thankful to the players that give all their best. He had excellent performances while he was with us," Simeone said.

Costa is the latest top player Atletico have sold recently after Sergio Aguero, Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan and Radamel Falcao, but Simeone is confident the Spanish champions will find another forward to replace Chelsea's new star.

"Aguero left and many got scared, Falcao arrived and the team won what it won," Simeone said. "Then Falcao left and it seemed like the team couldn't improve. Costa arrived and the team kept on growing.

"Atletico has always handled each change very well and we expect this time to be the same."

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