Tomas Ujfalusi backs Chelsea's Diego Costa to return to Atletico Madrid
Former Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi says he hopes Chelsea striker Diego Costa returns to the Liga club.
Costa looks set to leave Chelsea this summer as he remains on holiday in his home town of Lagarto in Brazil, having been fined around £300,000 -- or two weeks' wages -- for refusing to return to Stamford Bridge after a breakdown in his relationship with Antonio Conte.
Earlier this month, the 28-year-old's lawyer said Atletico were the only club he would sign for, and Costa said last weekend that he wanted to work again with Diego Simeone at a club where he was "loved" and "respected," while saying that at Chelsea he was being treated "like a criminal."
The situation is complicated by Atletico's transfer ban, which means they cannot register new players until January, although La Voz de Galicia reports that Deportivo La Coruna, who have good links with Costa's agent Jorge Mendes, are aiming to get him on loan until January.
Ujfalusi told AS that he hopes his former teammate would get the move he wanted.
"I've heard that he could play six months elsewhere and return in January," Ujfalusi said. "I hope he comes. Costa was a spectacular guy when I played with him [in 2010-11]."
Asked if Costa was the "ideal" striker for Simeone's style of football, Ujfalusi agreed and said a link-up with Antoine Griezmann could be world-class.
"For sure," he said. "He [Costa] is a fighter who always leaves everything on the pitch. He is strong, fast, and scores lots of goals. He scored more than 50 times playing for Chelsea in a very tough competition like the Premier League. Together with Griezmann they could be one of the best strike partnerships in Europe."
Ujfalusi posted the interview to his own Instagram account, where it was liked by Costa himself -- who also commented with tears of laughter and thumps up emojis.
Costa was a peripheral figure during his early days at Atletico, but during his final two seasons at the Calderon he scored 55 goals in 96 games as Simeone's team won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and reached the 2014 Champions League final.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan