Diego Costa terminates contract with Atletico Madrid

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa will be able to join a new team as a free agent in January after his Atletico Madrid contract was terminated for personal reasons.

The former Chelsea forward has left Wanda Metropolitano with immediate effect after seeing his wish to depart granted by club officials.

The 32-year-old cited personal reasons for wanting to leave Wanda Metropolitano after being excused from training, having also made it clear that he had no intention of signing an extension.

The current Liga leaders have granted the forward’s wish ahead of the January transfer window, with the 32-year-old now officially a free agent.

Part of an Atletico statement on Tuesday read:

“The striker asked to leave the club for personal reasons a few days ago and on Tuesday signed the termination of his contract.

“The club thanks Diego Costa for his dedication during these years and wishes him well in the next stage of his professional career.”

“We have spent a lot of time together over the years, he has given us a lot and we have given him a lot too,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said on Tuesday.

“We spoke about his personal issues and the club wanted to help him without harming its own interests and we feel better now we have resolved the issue.

“He felt the need to find a new challenge, and I’m sure wherever he goes he will do well, because he’s a fighter.”

Costa originally joined Atletico in 2006 aged just 17 and scored 43 goals in 94 appearances for the club between 2010 and 2014.

He helped Simeone’s side to the Spanish title in 2014 with 27 goals but missed out on that year’s Champions League with an extra-time defeat to Real Madrid in Lisbon.

He joined Chelsea in 2014 in a £34.2m deal and went on to score 58 goals in 120 appearances for the club, winning two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

However, he was frozen out at the club by Conte in the summer of 2017 and returned to Atletico in a £54m deal the following January.

The striker immediately helped Diego Simeone’s side win the Europa League with a 3-0 final win against Marseille and the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid.

But his spell was repeatedly interrupted by injuries and he struggled to make an impact, despite starting 43 La Liga matches since rejoining.

The winter transfer window opens on Saturday January 2 and closes on Monday February 1.

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