Diego Costa says best for Antoine Griezmann would be to stay at Atletico Madrid

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Diego Costa has told team-mate Antoine Griezmann he is best off staying at Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann has scored 23 goals in 38 appearances for Atletico this season and said on Wednesday he wants his future sorted before the start of this year’s World Cup.

The French forward told L´Equipe he hopes “to travel to Russia without concern” after Barcelona were forced in January to deny they had already struck a deal to sign the player. Manchester United were also credited with a strong interest last summer.

Costa, however, who left Atletico for Chelsea in 2014 only to return to the Spanish club earlier this season, believes his current striker partner should stay put.

“He knows that we want him, that he is a very important player. He is still with us and he has not told me he is going yet,” Costa said on Wednesday.

“I would be happy for him to stay, everyone has to look for the best for themselves but, in my opinion, the best for him is to stay.”

Costa added, with a smile: “He called me every day to tell me to return to Atletico and now he’s not going to leave me. That cannot be, he is going to stay.”

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui appears to have put his faith in Costa to be the team’s leading striker this summer.

Spain's players

A strong run of form for Atletico, alongside Griezmann, has included three goals in Costa´s last seven appearances while Chelsea´s Alvaro Morata, his chief rival, has been left out of Spain´s latest squad.

It marks a stark contrast to the start of the season when Costa, sidelined by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, was left killing time in Brazil, and Morata began his Premier League career with eight goals in as many games.

“It is very clear that it was not my fault that I was in Brazil. We all know what happened there but I’m back now and I want to do my best,” Costa said.

“The (Spain) coach was always very clear with me that if I was not playing then it would be impossible for me to be called up. But he also said that if I was playing well then the door would be open to me and I’m grateful to him for that.”

On Morata’s omission, Costa added: “I miss Morata because we get on well. Competition is always good. Morata has been having a bad time there (at Chelsea) but he is back now scoring goals and I hope he comes back with us and we can play together.”

Spain play Germany in Dusseldorf on Friday before hosting Argentina in a second friendly in Madrid on Tuesday.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Arsenal and Liverpool boosted in Nabil Fekir chase as agent reveals player's ambition

David Cooper 21/03/2018
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Though the summer transfer window is still a few months away, that hasn’t stopped the rumours of players potentially being on the move.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen when the market reopens in June.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

NABIL FEKIR

Nabil Fekir’s agent Jean-Pierre Bernes claims his client is content at Lyon but would consider a move should the right opportunity come along and is feasible for all parties involved.

Bernes revealed to Le Dauphine Libere Fekir dreams of playing for an elite European club. The Frenchman has been in top form this season having scored 16 goals in Ligue 1.

Arsenal and Liverpool have shown interest in the attacking midfielder and a move in the summer could be in the works.

Verdict

Fekir is a player whose calibre exceeds the standards of Lyon. He would improve any side in the Premier League and would fit the bill at Liverpool or Arsenal.

Ratings – 6/10

Nabil Fekir

Nabil Fekir

ANDER HERRERA

Having fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho, Ander Herrera looks set to be sold by Manchester United in the summer.

Should he depart Old Trafford, the Spaniard could prioritise a return to former side Athletic Bilbao according to Mundo Deportivo.

AC Milan, Valencia and Atletico Madrid are also interested in signing in the 28-year-old who is expected to be part of several players to be sold by United this summer.

Verdict

There doesn’t appear to be a way back for Herrera as a regular in United’s starting eleven. He’s still got a lot to offer though so if Atletico come in with a strong offer, he could decide against a return to his former club.

Ratings – 6/10

Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera

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Real Madrid join race for Liverpool target Alisson, Chelsea eye Toby Alderweireld swoop

David Cooper 21/03/2018
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  • Facebook
  • Twitter
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Though the summer transfer window is still a few months away, that hasn’t stopped the rumours of players potentially being on the move.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen when the market reopens in June.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

ALISSON

According to Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool are set for some stiff competition in their bid to lure Roma goalkeeper Alisson to Anfield this summer.

Real Madrid are reportedly lining up a £52 million bid for the Brazilian international.

Having shone for the Serie A outfit this season, Alisson has attracted interest from Liverpool who considered signing the custodian in January but decided to hold off until the summer.

Their hesitation may cost them though as Los Blancos are prepared to offer the 25-year-old a five-year contract worth €5m per season.

Verdict

It seems unlikely that Madrid would ditch Keylor Navas – who has been excellent this season – for Alisson, as impressive as he’s been. Liverpool have been linked with the Madrid No1 as well though so perhaps it’s a case of musical chairs.

Ratings – 4/10

Alisson

Alisson

ANTHONY MARTIAL

Anthony Martial’s future at Manchester United has been thrown into uncertainty after his agent refused to confirm if he will stay at Old Trafford beyond the current campaign.

The Frenchman has started just 16 Premier League games this season. An impressive run of form during mid-season saw him overtake Marcus Rashford in the pecking order but he’s seen his playing time cut again since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January.

He told Il Bianconero: “Will [Martial] stay in Manchester in the summer? At the moment, I cannot say anything else about it.”

Verdict

It’s not as if Jose Mourinho has frozen out the Frenchman. Few have been able to establish themselves in the first team and Martial hasn’t yet either but he’s been better in the Portuguese’s second season at the helm. Martial’s contract is up at the end of next season so it’s no surprise his agent is stirring the pot now.

Ratings – 3/10

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial

TOBY ALDERWEIRELD

Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld is arguably the most sought after defender in the Premier League and Chelsea are the latest to have entered the race for his signature, according to the Mirror.

The Belgian has been holding out for a pay rise at Spurs but that has seen his relationship with manager Mauricio Pochettino sour with the Argentine dropping the centre-back in recent games.

Chelsea are prepared to move for Alderweireld regardless of whether or not Antonio Conte remains at Stamford Bridge next season.

Verdict

Chelsea’s defence could do with the reliability of Alderweireld while their signings being decided above the manager’s head wouldn’t be a new occurrence.

Rating – 6/10

Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld

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