‘Costa absence health, not Barry, related’

Vicente del Bosque has insisted that Diego Costa’s omission from the Spain squad is due to “health issues” – not Gareth Barry.

Costa’s absence from La Roja’s party for friendlies against Italy and Romania came little under a week after his controversial antics in Chelsea’s FA Cup defeat to Everton, where he appeared to bite Barry on the neck, before being sent off and allegedly gesticulating towards rival fans.

However, speaking at a Press conference after his squad announcement, the Coach clarified: “There’s still two months for the final list.

“There are health issues [with Costa]. He withdrew from the game against PSG with discomfort and only played against Everton because of the game’s importance.

“We haven’t ruled Diego Costa out. I think he’s been playing well in recent games and we appreciate that.

“[Alvaro] Morata and [Paco] Alcacer are neither in great form, but we have a policy of continuity and can be a little flexible.

“We’re only preoccupied with his sporting performance, and he’s played well in recent months.

“After that comes his discipline, and it’s clear that we’d like him to behave well.

“The situation with Barry wasn’t serious, it was mild and not a serious episode.

“Aduriz deserves to be here. He has scored lot of goals and is a striker that we all like.

“[On no Dani Carvajal, Hector Bellerin or Saul Niguez], there’s huge competition [at right-back], but we’ve considered Juanfran and Mario Gaspar to be ahead [of them].

“We greatly appreciate the youth and energy of Saul and Bellerin, but the Under-21s have a big game against Croatia.

“I’ve spoken to Andres Iniesta. He suffered some discomfort recently, so we saw it fit for him not to come.

“Mikel San Jose can play in several positions, but we’ve brought him along as a midfielder.

“We have faith in Nolito. He’s not in his best form, but we hope he recovers it soon.”

Tags Chelsea Diego Costa everton friendly Italy Romania Spain Vicente Del Bosque