Rodgers’ Costa deal receives a knockout blow
ATLETICO MADRID have given Liverpool a major setback in their battle to lure Diego Costa to Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers’ side made a £21.8million bid for the Brazilian forward last week, but the Madrid club insisted he was not for sale.
Now Atletico 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 said: “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. He’s going to stay.”
It is a real sucker punch for Rodgers, who was banking on getting Costa in to replace the wantaway Luis Suarez.
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 for the Champions League, and were helped to win the Copa del Rey with Costa scoring the equalising goal in the final against Real Madrid.
The striker, who has just returned from Atletico’s pre-season tour of South America, said: “As I’ve been in Argentina and
STAYING: Diego Costa 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.
“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.”
Atletico are desperate to hang on to Costa after top scorer Radamel Falcao joined Monaco at the start of the summer.