Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has confessed that Diego Costa, not Kevin Gameiro, was the club’s primary striking target prior to the latter’s arrival.
Costa had been heavily tipped for a second spell with Atleti after Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appeared to confirm reports of the striker’s desire to move, but Simeone explained how a lack of progress in negotiations forced his club to consider Gameiro, whom they ultimately signed.
“Gameiro was our second choice,” the Coach told Movistar+.
“I wanted to be clear [with Gameiro]. Yes, the club worked on the possibility that Diego Costa would come [back], but then those possibilities didn’t progress.
“We were always very clear with Gameiro, always. When I spoke to him over the phone, I told him that we’d sought the position of being able to count on Costa but that out of the alternatives I’d given the club, I bet on him entirely and that we wanted him to be the forward to join us this [season].”