Diego Costa pens new Atletico deal
Diego Costa has signed a new long-term contract at Atletico Madrid to end any speculation over a €25 million move to Liverpool.
Costa, 24, was heavily linked with a move to Anfield this summer, with the Premier League side reportedly willing to meet the release clause in his contract and treble his wages.
For his part, the Brazilian had said during his club’s pre-season tour of South America that he was happy where he was but wanted Atletico to show they really wanted him to stay.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had then revealed the player was set to sign an extension with Los Colchoneros, and a new five-year deal was confirmed on the official Atletico website on Wednesday morning.
"I appreciate what the club has done in making me this offer to spend a long time here,” Costa said in the official statement. “I hope to make myself into a much bigger footballer and to conquer all the objectives that the team has.
"I am very happy with his agreement after a lot of time fighting to win the respect and affection of the fans, of my team-mates and the people at the club. This is a very special moment. I am very happy here."
The forward first signed for Atletico in 2007 from Portuguese side Braga, whom he had joined aged 17. There then followed loan spells at Celta Vigo, Albacete, Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano as a number of Atletico coaches, and many fans, doubted whether he would make it in the first team.
However, last season Costa established himself as a regular in Diego Simeone’s side, and scored a memorable goal to help secure a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in May’s Copa del Rey final at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Caminero said his renewal was a major boost.
"It was one of the club's priorities and it is great news for all atleticos," Caminero said. "Diego Costa is one of the key pieces of the team, and it remains our policy to maintain the 'block' that has given us so many successes in these last years. The extension of his contract was one of our objectives."
Atleti have also completed the signing of goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia from Deportivo la Coruna. The 33-year-old was available on a free as Depor, who are currently in administration and were relegated to the Segunda Division at the end of last season, needed to cut their wage bill.
"I am very happy to arrive at a team as big as this one," Aranzubia told AS. “I am very happy and looking forward to getting to work.”
Aranzubia, who has agreed a one-year deal at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, said he was planning on battling Thibaut Courtois for a starting spot.
"I am aware that Atletico have a great ‘keeper," he said. "But I am coming here to do my work, to compete, to help the team and to do things well."