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There was never a Diego Costa transfer saga – Cerezo

Enrique Cerezo has dismissed suggestions Atletico Madrid are keen to re-sign Chelsea striker Diego Costa ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

The Spain international, 27, departed the Vicente Calderon in 2014 and helped Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double in his first season.

Costa struggled for form and fitness as Chelsea’s title defence f
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ell apart last season, though, and he has been heavily linked with an Atleti return throughout the close season.

However, president Cerezo says Atleti – who reinforced their forward options with the signing of Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla in this window – are not planning a move for Costa.

“There was never a Diego Costa transfer saga,” Cerezo told Marca.

“Diego has a contract with Chelsea and is part of manager Antonio Conte’s squad. We are on friendly terms with Chelsea and see them as our friends.

“Diego is also a friend and a true Atletico man, but his place is at Chelsea now and I am sure he will be successful there. We like Diego for everything that he has done for us and he knows Atletico will always be his home.

“But there won’t be new acquisitions beyond our budget.”

Atletico have spent big this transfer window to secure the services of Sime Vrsaljko, Nicolas Gaitan and Gameiro, and Cerezo believes last season’s Champions League finalists are even stronger than in recent years.

“I honestly think the current team is our best squad in many years,” he added.

“The dressing room is full of great players, great professionals and great people oozing with desire to win. It’s a hell of a team.

“We tried to sign players to improve our weaker areas, following [Diego] Simeone’s advice.”

Thu 4 Aug, 2016
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