Diego Costa Was "Very Close" to Joining Liverpool

Denis Doyle

While some Liverpool fans doubted Diego Costa's intentions following his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid, the Brazilian attacker insists the potential move to England very nearly came to fruition.

When Henrikh Mkhitaryan turned down Liverpool in favour of Borussia Dortmund, the next big summer target for Brendan Rodgers became Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa. However, with the player choosing to stay in Spain, some wondered if the rumoured Liverpool links were, at least on his end, only ever part of negotiations for a more lucrative contract.

Atletico's willingness to offer him a new deal running through 2018 following a breakout campaign alongside the now departed Falcao obviously played a role in Costa choosing to stay in Spain, but to hear him tell it, getting his current club to stump up with some extra cash was never the end goal.

"I had a chance to leave," he said in an interview with El Mundo Deportivo. "I was very close to doing so, and Liverpool are a great team, but after so much work and overcoming so many difficulties to win my place at Atletico, I couldn't go.

"I thought it was very important for me to continue growing here, to play here for many more years, since I have the trust and respect of the [supporters and manager].

At the time, Liverpool certainly seemed willing to prove they trusted the player, with Rodgers ready to meet Costa's buyout clause, but with Atletico not looking to cash in and the player deciding to stay in a known situation, it meant a second public failure on the transfer market for the English club.

Victor Moses' arrival on loan from Chelsea gives Liverpool a short-term solution to a shortage of attacking options on the wing, but if the club is hovering around the top four come January most will expect a few targets of Costa's calibre on the radar. Going back in for Costa himself, though, seems unlikely to be a possibility.

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