Diego Costa asks to leave Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has reportedly asked the club to terminate his contract and release him as soon as possible, which could make him a free agent in the January transfer window.

Costa has suffered injuries for much of his second stint with Los Rojiblancos since returning to the Chelsea club in January 2018. This season has been a bit different, missing the entire Champions League group stage and finding minutes hard to find at other times.

Diego Costa
Injuries have limited Costa since 2018 | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / Getty Images

Atletico brought in veteran star Luis Suarez from Barcelona this summer, while Joao Felix and Angel Correa have also been regulars in Costa’s absence, making it difficult for them to command a place in Barcelona’s favorite XI. Diego Simeone, even in good shape.

Atletico de Costa’s contract will expire at the end of the season, but AS claim the player requested to be released before that date, citing family issues as the reason.

It is said that Atletico are currently assessing the situation and will try to help them as best they can.

Whether that actually means freeing him or trying to find a bidder during the winter window that Costa would deem appropriate for his next club is unclear.

Diego Costa, Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez slashes Costa’s chances when in form | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

In his first stint, Costa helped Atletico win La Liga in 2013/14, scoring 27 times in the league and 36 in all competitions. He won the Zarra Trophy as the best domestic player this season – behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in total – and scored eight Champions League goals as Atleti reached the final for the first time since 1974.

Costa was sold to Chelsea that summer, winning two Premier League titles and the Carabao Cup for three seasons in England. But he fell out of favor at Stamford Bridge with coach Antonio Conte and was completely ruled out for the first half of the 2017/18 season until his return to Madrid.

Largely because of injuries, Costa was less prolific in his second stint with Atletico, although he still helped the club win the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup.

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