Only one of Costa and Aguero is ‘welcome back at Atletico’

Daniel Roberts
Diego Costa: Has special bond with Atletico

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has ended speculation that the La Liga club could attempt to bring both Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero back to the club.

Speculation around both player’s future has mounted over recent months, with Costa linked with a move to China, while Aguero has been dropped from City’s last two games, with Pep Guardiola favouring Gabriel Jesus.

Despite an excellent period in Madrid, scoring 102 times in five years, Cerezo was disappointed with how Aguero left the club to join the Manchester club back in 2011.

“If he had left in a normal and cordial manner then there would have been no problem, but I don’t know what happened to him,” Cerezo told Spanish radio station Cadena COPE.

“He left on very bad terms rather than as a hero.”

However, the same can’t be said for Costa, who would be welcomed back with open arms by Cerezo, who watched the Spaniard score the goals to seal the 2013/14 La Liga title for Atleti.

The return nearly happened in the summer after an unhappy Costa was keen to return to Madrid for family reasons. However, the move never materialised and the appointment of Antonio Conte has rejuvenated Costa.

Doubts about the frontman’s Stamford Bridge future remain after transfer speculation heavily linked Costa to China in January, but Atleti’s president isn’t hopeful on a possible move.

“He is at a great club. They say he is going to China, but I don’t see Chelsea letting him go,” Cerezo added.

Madrid are currently in a transfer embargo but hope their appeal against a FIFA-imposed transfer ban for unlawful signing of foreign minors is successful.

Atletico have already served one transfer window ban, but hope to see the embargo reduced, having seen cross-city rivals Real Madrid get a similar ban lowered to one window.

Speaking about the ban, Cerezo is hopeful the Court of Arbitration for Sport will grant them a similar ruling.

“We hope they lift (the ban) and we can sign this summer,” he said. “We had the same problem as Real Madrid. If they have lifted it from them, why wouldn’t they lift it from us?”

While two strikers may not be returning to Atleti from England, another one may be heading to the Premier League, with Frenchman Antoine Griezmann heavily linked to Manchester United.

The Red Devils are said to be willing to match the £85million buy-out clause written into the 25-year-olds contract, but Cerezo is keen to keep hold of their star man.

“Every time I see Antoine I give him a hug,” he said. “Antoine is a fantastic player and loves life at Atletico.”