Costa and Vi­tolo raise stakes for Sime­one

Sport360 - - Football Bundesliga - By David Cooper editorial@sport360 @david­cooper

Atletico Madrid pres­i­dent En­rique Cerezo be­lieves the ar­rivals of Diego Costa and Vi­tolo in Jan­uary will en­sure Los Ro­ji­blan­cos are chal­leng­ing for the La Liga ti­tle.

Diego Sime­one was un­able to re­in­force his squad this sum­mer due to Atletico serv­ing a trans­fer ban af­ter breach­ing FIFA rules over the sign­ing of un­der-16 play­ers.

The club did man­age to se­cure the sig­na­tures of Costa and Vi­tolo from Chelsea and Sevilla re­spec­tively, but the two Spain in­ter­na­tion­als can­not play for Atleti un­til the new year. Cerezo claims their ar­rivals will prove to be per­fect tim­ing in a Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow where clubs of­ten strug­gle to regames cruit. Cerezo told Marca: “Now we know Diego Costa and Vi­tolo are ar­riv­ing, we must aim to win the ti­tle.

“We must work to im­prove from last sea­son’s per­for­mance, which was phe­nom­e­nal but now we are even stronger and with th­ese two great play­ers we will win a lot and es­pe­cially from Jan­uary on­wards.”

Un­like his boss, Sime­one tends to play down Atletico’s ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions, al­though his side can close the gap on Barcelona at the top to a point with a win to­day at Le­ganes. Sime­one will travel to the Es­ta­dio Mu­nic­i­pal de Bu­tar­que with­out promising left-back Lu­cas Her­nan­dez who has started all six La Liga but has suf­fered a ham­string in­jury.

Else­where, third-place Sevilla host win­less Malaga with the pres­sure mount­ing on vis­it­ing coach Michel.

Costly ad­di­tion: Diego Costa.

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