Veteran striker Diego Costa is no longer a member of La Liga giant Atletico Madrid after the two sides agreed to mutual contract termination.
While the move comes as a surprise, it isn’t hard to see Atletico’s motivation for parting ways with Costa. The 32-year-old veteran was one of the club’s highest earners but rarely managed to see the field this season.
Due to a combination of injuries and poor performances, he only made two starts and played seven matches in 2020-21.
With Costa off their books, Atletico will now be able to redirect some of the funds to reinforce their squad in the January transfer window as they look to keep the top spot in La Liga.
Costa, on the other hand, will now be free to sign with a club where he’ll get more playing time and an opportunity to get back to form. He reportedly already has several suitors, including Premier League side Arsenal.
Diego Costa spent seven seasons with Atletico Madrid on two different stints. He played a total of 215 games with the club in all competitions and scored 83 goals with 36 assists. Costa won six trophies in Atletico’s jersey, including the La Liga title in 2013-14.
“He has given us a lot, and we have given him a lot,” said Atletico manager Diego Simeone on Tuesday. “He needs new challenges because he feels good, strong, in good form. I can only imagine that wherever he goes he will do well because he is a fighter.”