Simeone expects Costa to stay at Atletico

Tianjin Quanjian is said to be interested in Diego Costa, but Diego Simeone expects him to stay at Atletico Madrid.

Simeone does not believe that Costa has played his last game for the club.   -  Getty Images

Diego Simeone insists he has no plans to sell Diego Costa during the January transfer window.

Reports have suggested Tianjin Quanjian of the Chinese Super League is interested in signing the Spain international next month.

Costa struggled for form in the early part of the season, scoring just once in 11 La Liga appearances, and he is unlikely to return to action in the next month at least following surgery on a foot problem.

However, Simeone does not believe the striker has played his last game for the club.

READ | Rivaldo would welcome Isco at Barcelona

"I hope, wish for and need Diego Costa in February, no doubt about it, and I believe he will be there," the Atletico boss told a news conference.

Atleti travels to Real Valladolid on Saturday knowing that a win will see it go level on points with La Liga leader Barcelona, which faces Levante on Sunday.

Simeone accepts that only top spot will be enough to satisfy the demands of some fans, something he considers to be a positive reflection of Atleti's progress.

ALSO READ | Alba: Barcelona squad happy with Dembele

"I think that Atletico fans fully appreciate what we're doing and the job the players have been doing for several years now, but of course the demand now increased," he said.

"We have new responsibilities and need to be self-critical. We have to be demanding of ourselves. We've had four draws away [in a row in the league], so we need to improve to give a solution to what the fans demand.

"I'm the most self-critical, with myself first of all, and as I said, being in second place now is not good for Atletico."

  Dugout videos