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Atletico vow to keep Costa

Reports in Spain claim Atletico Madrid are determined to keep hold of Diego Costa despite interest from Liverpool.

Last Updated: 07/08/13 at 01:06 Post Comment

Diego Costa: Interest from Liverpool

Diego Costa: Interest from Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers' side made a £21.8 million bid for the Brazilian forward last week, but the Madrid club insisted he was not for sale.

Now Atletico's sporting director Jose Luis Caminero has reiterated the club's stance on the 24-year-old, who scored 20 goals in all competitions last season.

Caminero was quoted by Spanish daily AS as saying: "Diego Costa is a very important player for Atletico, we value him very highly and we are convinced that this year he is going to score a lot of goals with Atletico. He is an idol for the fans."

Pressed on whether Costa would stay at the club, he added: "Yes, he's going to continue."

Caminero's comments follow Costa's own declarations that he was intent on remaining at Atletico, who finished last season in third place in La Liga. The club qualified automatically for the Champions League, and won the Copa del Rey, with Costa scoring in the final against rivals Real Madrid.

Speaking at Madrid Barajas airport as the team returned from their pre-season tour of South America, Costa said: "As I've been in Argentina and Uruguay I've not heard anything about this.

"I'm happy here, if the club want me to be here, I'm going to be here.

"I think that the coach (Diego Simeone) counts on all of us, not just me. He knows how important it is to maintain the squad, the fans know it as well."

The club are reluctant to lose Costa after Radamel Falcao, their top scorer last term with 28 league goals, joined Monaco at the start of the summer.

Spain's all-time top scorer David Villa was signed as the Colombian's replacement, while 20-year-old forward Leo Baptistao has joined from Rayo Vallecano.

Baptistao scored a double in Atleti's win over Uruguayan club Nacional in their last game of their tour, but Villa did not travel with the squad due to his participation in the Confederations Cup with Spain.

Caminero explained that 'El Guaje' would need time to return to full fitness and adapt to his new club, but was certain he would be a success.

"He finished the season later than everyone else and he needs a different plan of preparation. As soon as we return to training he will join up and be part of the squad," he said.

"He will have ideal forward partners like Adrian or Diego Costa. We don't need to remind ourselves how good a player Villa is, at international and at club level. I'm sure that his goals will take Atletico as far as possible and we can assure everyone that he has the utmost enthusiasm about the coming season."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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