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Atletico Madrid confirm termination of Diego Costa contract to end Spain striker's second spell at club

12:37 GMT 29/12/2020
Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid 2020-21
The former Chelsea forward has left Wanda Metropolitano with immediate effect after seeing his wish to depart granted by club officials

Atletico Madrid have confirmed the termination of Diego Costa's contract.

Goal reported at the start of the week that Costa had informed Atletico officials of his desire to leave the club six months before the expiration of his contract.

The 32-year-old cited personal reasons for wanting to leave Wanda Metropolitano after being excused from training, having also made it clear that he had no intention of signing an extension.

The current Liga leaders have granted the forward's wish ahead of the January transfer window, with the 32-year-old now officially a free agent.

"Atletico de Madrid and Diego Costa have reached an agreement for the termination of the striker's contract, which was to end on June 30, 2021," a statement on Atletico's official website reads. 

"The striker asked to leave the club for personal reasons a few days ago and on Tuesday signed the termination of his contract. The club thanks Diego Costa for his dedication during these years and wishes him well in the next stage of his professional career."

Costa had struggled with persistent fitness issues ever since his return to Atletico from Chelsea in 2018, with his output in the final third suffering as a result.

The Spain international only scored 12 goals in 61 La Liga appearances during his second spell with Diego Simeone's side, with just two of those efforts recorded in the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.

Costa's final goal for the Los Rojiblancos came from the penalty spot during a 3-1 home win over Elche on December 19, with Luis Suarez grabbing a brace to wrap up the comfortable win.

Goal understands that Simeone sanctioned Costa's exit on the understanding he would be able to bring in another frontman in the winter market, as Suarez is now the only natural centre-forward in his ranks.

Costa has been linked with several clubs following news of his desire to leave Atletico, with Premier League clubs including Arsenal among those rumoured to be interested in the veteran front man.

Atletico are due back in Liga action following the winter break on Wednesday night, with 12th placed Getafe set to arrive at Wanda Metropolitano.