Transfer news: Atletico Madrid refuse to sell Diego Costa despite £21m Liverpool bid

The Reds thought their offer would trigger a release clause in the striker's contract

Atletico Madrid have reaffirmed their commitment to keeping hold of Diego Costa despite interest from Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers' side made a £21.8m bid for the Brazilian forward last week, but the Madrid club insisted he was not for sale.

Now Atletico's sporting director Jose Luis Caminero has reiterated the club's stance on the 24-year-old, who scored 20 goals in all competitions last season.

Speaking to AS, Caminero said: "Diego Costa is a very important player for Atletico, we value him very highly and we are convinced that this year he is going to score a lot of goals with Atletico. He is an idol for the fans."

Pressed on whether Costa would stay at he club, he added: "Yes, he's going to continue."

Caminero's comments follow Costa's own declarations that he was intent on remaining at Atletico, who finished last season in third place in La Liga. The club qualified automatically for the Champions League, and won the Copa del Rey, with Costa scoring in the final against rivals Real Madrid.

Speaking to AS at Madrid Barajas airport as the team returned from their pre-season tour of South America, Costa said: "As I've been in Argentina and Uruguay I've not heard anything about this.

"I'm happy here, if the club want me to be here, I'm going to be here.

"I think that the coach (Diego Simeone) counts on all of us, not just me. He knows how important it is to maintain the squad, the fans know it as well."

The club are reluctant to lose Costa after Radamal Falcao, their top scorer last term with 28 league goals, joined Monaco at the start of the summer.

Spain's all-time top scorer David Villa was signed as the Colombian's replacement, while 20-year-old forward Leo Baptistao has joined from Rayo Vallecano.

Baptistao scored a double in Atleti's win over Uruguayan club Nacional in their last game of their tour, but Villa did not travel with the squad due to his participation in the Confederations Cup with Spain.

Caminero explained that 'El Guaje' would need time to return to full fitness and adapt to his new club, but was certain he would be a success.

"He finished the season later than everyone else and he needs a different plan of preparation. As soon as we return to training he will join up and be part of the squad," he said.

"He will have ideal forward partners like Adrian or Diego Costa. We don't need to remind ourselves how good a player Villa is, at international and at club level. I'm sure that his goals will take Atletico as far as possible and we can assure everyone that he has the utmost enthusiasm about the coming season."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty