ATLÉTICO MADRID

Diego Costa blames training no-show on tax fraud probe

Diego Costa blames training no-show on tax fraud probe

JAVIER GANDUL

DIARIO AS

The Spain striker did not train on Thursday and explained that he had not slept the previous evening after receiving news of a tax investigation.

Diego Costa asked to be excused from training with Atlético Madrid on Thursday amid the continuing fall-out from his sending off at Camp Nou that effectively ended his side’s attempt to overhaul Barcelona at the top of LaLiga.

Now, the reason for Costa’s absence has been revealed: AS understands that Costa explained on arriving at the club’s training ground in the morning that he had not slept the previous evening due to receiving notification from the tax authorities that an investigation into an alleged case of fraud was to be opened against him.

Spanish daily El Mundo on Wednesday published a story stating that the Spanish tax agency suspects that Costa allegedly defrauded the public coffers of 1.1 million euros in 2014 attributed to an image rights deal with Adidas.

Atlético open inquiry into Costa's Camp Nou red

That, Costa reportedly told the staff at Atlético on Thursday, was the reason that he felt he was unable to train properly with the rest of his teammates. Costa will take no part in competitive action again this season after receiving an eight-game ban for verbally abusing the referee in Atlético’s defeat at Camp Nou two weeks ago, a sanction that Diego Simeone described as “excessive" while also defending his striker in a recent interview

However, Atlético have opened an internal inquiry as to Costa’s dismissal due to the seriousness of the ban and the adverse effect on the side’s chances against Barcelona and the effective end of their league campaign, added to the cost of being without their striker’s services for the remaining six games of the season.

Costa is expected to attend Atlético training on Friday despite not being in the squad for the trip to Eibar on Saturday afternoon.