Atletico Madrid captain Gabi has claimed that Jackson Martinez “didn’t suit the team” following the striker’s sudden move to Guangzhou Evergrande.
Jackson scored just three goals in 22 appearances for Atleti, before being shipped off to Evergrande in a Chinese-record €42m transfer – €7m more than Los Colchoneros paid Porto for the 29-year-old last summer – and Gabi believes Diego Costa would make a worthy replacement.
“Hopefully [Diego] Simeone doesn’t leave any time soon. He’ll only go when the team stop responding to him,” the midfielder told Radio Marca.
[The Champions League] is a thorn, but a dream of ours.
“This team deserve it. We want to enter the club’s history.
“Barca are favourites [on all fronts] and will continue breaking records very forcefully.
“We’re not dirty, we’re strong and overly competitive sometimes, like everybody else.
“We’re the team no-one wants [to win]. It costs us more to win because we don’t have as much talent or resources as Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“[Jackson Martinez’s] way of working didn’t suit the team.
“Bringing [Costa] back wouldn’t be a bad thing. Costa or [Alvaro] Morata [for Spain]? Costa.
“[On Fernando Torres’ renewal] these three months are crucial and the club will decide.
“The future of Atleti rests with Saul [Niguez], [Luciano] Vietto, [Angel] Correa and Oliver [Torres].
“[Oliver] is in a bad spell at the moment as he wants minutes, but he’s the most intelligent player in the squad.
“We don’t have a [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez or Cristiano [Ronaldo].
“At the moment, [Antoine] Griezmann isn’t making the same differences as those guys. He’s not currently on Messi’s level.
"All those players are worth€100m. We have less chances [of success] than them.
“I didn’t like [the boos from Barca fans] during the national anthem in the Copa].
“The cup shouldn’t be contested by those who don’t feel Spanish. The booing won’t stop [otherwise].
“[On his Atleti future], I’ve received an offer, but as long as Atleti want me, I’ll stay.”