Diego Costa urges Antoine Griezmann to stay at Atletico Madrid
Last Updated: 21/03/18 3:51pm
Diego Costa believes strike partner Antoine Griezmann would be better off staying with Atletico Madrid for another season.
Griezmann has scored 23 goals in 38 appearances for Atletico since the start of the campaign and has been linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano this summer, with Manchester United and Barcelona touted as potential suitors for the 27-year-old.
Griezmann is keen to have his future sorted before the start of the World Cup, having told L´Equipe he hopes "to travel to Russia without concern", and Costa has urged the France international to remain with Atletico.
"He knows that we want him, that he is a very important player. He is still with us and he has not told me he is going yet," Costa said.
"I would be happy for him to stay, everyone has to look for the best for themselves but, in my opinion, the best for him is to stay."
Costa added: "He called me every day to tell me to return to Atletico and now he's not going to leave me. That cannot be, he is going to stay."
Costa is expected to lead the line for Spain in Russia after returning to form with Atletico, while Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata could miss out on the tournament after being omitted from Julen Lopetegui's latest squad for the friendlies against Germany and Argentina.
It marks a stark contrast to the start of the season when Costa was left killing time in Brazil after being dropped by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
"It is very clear that it was not my fault that I was in Brazil. We all know what happened there but I'm back now and I want to do my best," Costa said.
"The (Spain) coach was always very clear with me that if I was not playing then it would be impossible for me to be called up. But he also said that if I was playing well then the door would be open to me and I'm grateful to him for that."
On Morata's omission, Costa added: "I miss Morata because we get on well. Competition is always good. Morata has been having a bad time there (at Chelsea) but he is back now scoring goals and I hope he comes back with us and we can play together."