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ATLÉTICO MADRID

Atlético eyeing Icardi should Diego Costa or Griezmann leave

Atlético eyeing Icardi should Diego Costa or Griezmann leave

REUTERS

Álvaro Morata will see out the season remaining on his loan deal but the futures of Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann remain in the air.

A summer of changes at the Metropolitano seems to be inevitable and the Atlético board have already begun to ponder what is needed in the transfer market with a particular focus on the front line.

Atlético president Enrique Cerezo is “3,000 percent” convinced that Antoine Griezmann will remain at the club next season despite relentless speculation linking the France striker with a move to Barcelona and having pledged his allegiance last summer there is little indication that the 28-year-old Is itching for a change of scenery. Some sections of the Barcelona support made their feelings on the idea of Griezmann donning the claret-and-blue abundantly clear at the weekend.

Simeone running out of patience with Diego Costa

Diego Costa, on the other hand, seems closer to the exit door with Atlético’s patience running out. The Spain striker, who cost a club-record 60 million euros when he returned from Chelsea, has suffered an injury plagued 2018-19 season after being unable to feature in the first half of 2017-18 due to a ban on Atlético registering players. In total, Costa has scored eight goals since he was re-signed but it is his discipline which has been trying Diego Simeone’s zen. Another sending off, at Camp Nou on Saturday in the 28th minute, handed the initiative to Barcelona in what was a title-defining match and the feeling is that offers come in – a Chinese Super League club tested the water in January – they will be listened to.

If Costa, or Griezmann, do leave Atlético this summer, Cerezo is eager to take advantage of Mauro Icardi’s increasingly untenable situation at Inter Milan. The Argentina striker has alienated fans and teammates by going on what amounted to a strike over contract issues and is unlikely to remain in Italy beyond the end of the season.

A lack of goals has hampered Atlético’s season and the board are also studying other options, including Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli, who has indicated he may be open to a move, and Eintracht Frankfurt’s in-demand 21-year-old Serbia international Luka Jovic.