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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019

'One of the three best strikers in the world': Atletico player hails Diego Costa's return

Felipe Luis also returned to Atletico after a spell with Chelsea.

ATLETICO MADRID’S FELIPE Luis says he is “proud” of his side for re-signing Diego Costa, who he believes is one of the three best strikers in the world.

The Liga outfit announced on Thursday that they have agreed a deal with Chelsea to sign Costa for a fee thought to be in the region of £58 (€65.7) million.

Costa, who has not featured for Chelsea since the FA Cup final in May, chose to remain in Brazil this summer rather than return to the Blues due to a dispute between the two parties. But the Spain forward is now on his way back to Atletico and Filipe Luis has praised his club’s efforts in getting the deal over the line, calling Costa a friend while installing him as one of the three best forwards in the world – though he did not specify which two players joined him there.

Speaking with Marca, the Brazilian said: ”I’m proud of this club for their effort in bringing in one of the three best strikers in the world.

Wherever he has gone he has made history, and he arrives ready to work, fight and make us better. We are going to grow. I’m delighted that my friend is coming here.”

Filipe Luis and Costa both moved to Chelsea from Atletico in 2014, before the former returned to Diego Simeone’s side a year later after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge

Costa remained at Chelsea and played a key role in helping them win the Premier League last season, scoring 20 league goals in 35 appearances.

However, his preference was to return to Atletico after claiming manager Antonio Conte told him he was no longer in his plans via a text message. Atletico are hoping to stagger the payments for Costa by making the deal as an initial loan move from January with an obligation to buy in the summer transfer window.

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