Diego Costa hints at Antoine Griezmann departure amid Barcelona links but insists French striker is fully focused on firing Atletico Madrid to glory in the Europa League
- Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has been linked with Barcelona move
- Diego Costa insists Griezmann is focused on helping Atletico win Europa League
- Atletico take on Marseille in Europa League final in Lyon on May 16
- Defender Filipe Luis insists Atletico aren’t thinking about Griezmann leaving
Pete Jenson for MailOnline
Diego Costa has hinted at Antoine Griezmann’s imminent departure but said the French forward is completely focused on first winning the Europa League with Atletico Madrid.
Atletico are trying to persuade their star striker to stay but Costa said: ‘He is big enough to know what he has to do.
‘It’s important to feel important at a club and he knows we love him here. It’s up to him. He has to take the decision himself with his family.’
Diego Costa (right) has suggested that Antoine Griezmann could leave Atletico Madrid
Costa returned to Atletico in January following a spell in the Premier League with Chelsea
Costa knows what it’s like to walk away from Atletico Madrid when a big opportunity comes along.
He added: ‘I went [to Chelsea] and I was happy to go at the time. l learned new things. The fact that I’m back doesn’t mean he should not go but we want him to stay.’
He did warn his team-mate of the perils of it not working out.
Costa said: ‘I was lucky enough to return. But he knows that if he goes there is no guaranteed return. The fans love him here so I just hope he thinks about it calmly.’
Barcelona already have Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho but see Griezmann as too good a deal to turn down because of his 100m euros buy-out clause.
Griezmann has been linked with a move to Barcelona ahead of the summer transfer window
The France international is Atletico’s leading scorer this season with 27 goals
Filipe Luis, another who left Atletico Madrid for Chelsea, said: ‘Griezmann right now is cheap. That is the reality. We are not thinking about him going.
ATLETICO MADRID’S TOP SCORERS THIS SEASON
Antoine Griezmann – 27 goals
Kevin Gameiro – 11 goals
Angel Correa – 9 goals
Fernando Torres – 8 goals
Diego Costa– 7 goals
‘Because if he goes, he will go after the final. Before that we have a game that we want to win. The stories are not affecting us or him.
‘But he is cheap and he is will be even more of a bargain if we win the final.’
Both Costa and Filipe Luis said despite the controversy around the possible transfer and a war of words between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid over the Catalan club’s very public pursuit of their biggest asset, all attention was focused on the final.
Filipe Luis said: ‘We want him to stay but that is all secondary to the final. You never know when you are going to get to another final. I want him to stay and have a good final.’
Asked if Griezmann was focussed Costa said: ‘He is really up for this. That is the way he always is. You never see him different. He is motivated. And he really wants to win this final.
‘Right now he is just thinking about winning a trophy. I see him as very centred on the game.’
Fielding yet another question about his strike partner just a week before the Europa League final against Marseille, Costa joked: ‘I’m staying! I’m very happy here.’