Sergio Ramos has been the face of Real Madrid, especially since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure in 2018.

Ramos highlighted his importance as Madrid dethroned Barcelona in LaLiga this season.

As the 34-year-old's current deal winds down, talks are reportedly underway to prolong his stay.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS REVEALS RENEWAL PLANS

Real Madrid captain Ramos wants €17million to renew his contract with the LaLiga champions, according to Diario Sport.

Ramos is out of contract in 2021 and there have been question marks as to whether the Spain skipper will sign a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defender has called Madrid home since arriving from Sevilla in 2005.

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- The front page of Thursday's Diario Sport claims Barcelona are determined to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. The 19-year-old left Barca for City in 2017. It comes as Premier League outfit City push for a swap deal involving full-back Joao Cancelo and Barca's Nelson Semedo.

- Could Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic reunite with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at Milan? According to reports, Fali Ramadani – agent to both Jovic and Rebic – met with Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara on Wednesday. Jovic has struggled since leaving Eintracht for Madrid at the start of the season, with the Serbia international linked to Milan, Napoli, Leicester City and Chelsea among others. Rebic, meanwhile, is on a two-season loan from Eintracht.

Manchester United are interested in signing Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, claims Calciomercato. Fellow Premier League teams Everton and Newcastle United are also reportedly interested.

- Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia report Victor Osimhen is set to be presented as a Napoli player on Friday. The Lille forward had previously been the subject of reported interest from the likes of Liverpool and United. Sky journalist Fabrizio Romano also says talks are ongoing for Napoli to sign Jeremie Boga from Sassuolo.

- According to RAC1 journalist Gerard Romero, Barca are eyeing Villarreal defender Pau Torres. The 23-year-old – also linked to City – reportedly has a €50m release clause.

City have offered Yangel Herrera to Valencia in an attempt to lure winger Ferran Torres to Manchester, says Gols Media. City are looking to replace Leroy Sane following his Bayern Munich switch.

Milan have contacted the agent of Brescia star Sandro Tonali, claims Sportmediaset. While Inter remain the frontrunners, their city rivals are not giving up on the Italy midfielder.

- Mundo Deportivo says Chelsea are dreaming of signing Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen amid doubts over current number one Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea have also been linked to Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Juventus and Atletico Madrid have been told by Atalanta general manager Umberto Marino that it will take an offer of more than €50million to sign striker Duvan Zapata.

Colombia international Zapata has netted 17 Serie A goals this season for free-scoring Atalanta, who climbed into second place with Tuesday's 1-0 win over Bologna.

He has been strongly linked with a move to domestic rivals Juve and LaLiga side Atletico, with the latter rumoured to have had an opening offer of €50m knocked back.

However, Marino is holding out for a far bigger sum for a player who has netted 40 goals in two league campaigns with Atalanta since joining from Sampdoria.

"He is worth much more than €50m. They have to raise their bid," Marino is quoted as saying by Sky Sport Italia.  

"But it is early to talk about it. We have to enjoy the Champions League and what remains of the season. 

"He is doing well in Bergamo and I am happy that great international teams are looking at him."

Manchester City are set to make a splash in the transfer market and defence is the area in the spotlight.

City struggled defensively in the absence of injured star Aymeric Laporte following Vincent Kompany's exit, while there are doubts over John Stones' future in Manchester.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake are reportedly high on Pep Guardiola's wish list as he attempts to strengthen his squad after watching Liverpool coast to the Premier League title.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOTIFY NAPOLI OF KOULIBALY INTENT

Manchester City have informed Napoli they are ready to make an offer for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Sky Sport Italia.

Pep Guardiola has set his sights on Koulibaly, who has also been linked to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

City are willing to bid €65million (£58m) but Napoli are still holding out for €100m (£90m).

 

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- Staying in Manchester and Sky Sports says City are in talks with Bournemouth over the signing of another defender – Nathan Ake. The Guardian claims City are poised to beat neighbours United and Chelsea to the Netherlands international.

- Sky Germany reports Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has agreed terms with Chelsea as he moves closer to arriving at Stamford Bridge. Havertz has been linked to Madrid, United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona but he appears set to join Chelsea. Win Sports TV journalist Pipe Sierra, meanwhile, claims Chelsea and Leverkusen have agreed an €85m (£77m) fee plus €15m (£13.5m) in bonuses.

Juventus are eyeing former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino as a possible replacement for head coach Maurizio Sarri, according to La Stampa.

- The Daily Mail says Southampton are set to sign Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu. The 21-year-old has reportedly attracted interest from United and Atletico Madrid.

Theo Hernandez has no plans to leave Milan amid interest from Ligue 1 champions PSG, reports Calciomercato. Hernandez is enjoying a fine season with a resurgent Rossoneri team under Stefano Pioli.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims there is a €60m agreement between Napoli and Lille for Victor Osimhen but the Serie A outfit still has to resolve matters with the forward's new agent.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone acknowledged it will be a challenge for his side to overcome LaLiga "monsters" Real Madrid and Barcelona next season.

Simeone's side rounded off their domestic campaign with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad on Sunday which secured third place in the table.

Atleti, however, finished 12 points behind second-placed Barcelona and 17 adrift of LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Simeone was under pressure earlier in the season before an unbeaten run from February ensured they secured a top-four finish.

"Year after year the responsibility grows and the demand also," Simeone said in a media conference after the game against Sociedad at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"The criticism is a consequence of what the team can give and what others can imagine is possible.

"I think we compete very well against teams like Sociedad, Getafe, Sevilla. And then there are two monsters such as Barcelona and Real Madrid."

Simeone believes regular Champions League football is essential to any hopes of breaking the stranglehold on LaLiga.

He continued: "We compete with two teams who must win the Champions League, LaLiga, Super Cup … so we are always looking for our own space and place, and we will keep going until we have our own chance.

"This season it is objective accomplished. I understand since I arrived the needs of the club that it is to be in the Champions League. I feel more a responsibility.

"For this we need regularity, in order to have important players and stability.

"With all the changes to the team it is strong. It looks competitive and I am glad that there will not be so many changes for next season because we have an important squad."

Simeone's players will now turn their attention to next month's Champions League, where they will meet Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.

They head into the mini tournament in Lisbon having not tasted defeat since the restart.

Atleti captain Koke, who scored in their 1-1 draw with Sociedad, claimed his team-mates have the belief to finally end their European Cup hoodoo.

"We are going to think of Leipzig as if it were the final. We are very excited and eager for it," he said.

"We have a very good streak of form at the moment and hopefully it will continue in the Champions League and we can win it."

Adnan Januzaj's 87th-minute equaliser saw Real Sociedad fight back for a draw 1-1 at Atletico Madrid that secured a place in next season's Europa League.

Atleti looked on course for victory in their concluding LaLiga fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday after Koke's close-range finish in the first half.

But Januzaj's curling free-kick late on went through a crowded box and found a way past the otherwise superb Jan Oblak.

The point was enough for Atleti to claim third place in LaLiga but Sociedad were the happier of the two sides as they finished in sixth spot, when defeat would have left them without European football.

Joao Felix was included in Atletico Madrid's matchday squad for their final LaLiga clash of the season with Real Sociedad after recovering from an ankle injury.

The Portugal forward came off in the 54th minute of Atleti's 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca this month and tests revealed he had suffered "a traumatic bone edema in the ankle".

He missed the draw at Celta Vigo and wins over Real Betis and Getafe, but the 20-year-old may now feature against Sociedad at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.

A brief Atleti statement read: "Joao Felix has received the medical green light and is fit to face Real Sociedad in the last LaLiga fixture.

"Our forward has recovered from his traumatic bone edema in the ankle and is at [Diego] Simeone's disposal for Sunday's match at the Wanda Metropolitano."

It provides a timely boost for Atleti, who are aiming to guarantee a third-place finish in LaLiga, ahead of the resumption of their Champions League campaign next month, where they face RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.

All matches from the last eight onwards will take place in Lisbon as a straight knockout tournament.

Joao Felix arrived from Benfica in a €126million deal last year but has not always hit the heights in his debut campaign, scoring eight goals and supplying three assists in 34 appearances in all competitions.

Arsenal may get an opportunity to sign Philippe Coutinho, while Mason Greenwood is set to be rewarded by Manchester United.

Coutinho is expected to leave Barcelona permanently this close season after a loan spell at Bayern Munich.

A stunning swap deal could see the playmaker end up at Emirates Stadium.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OFFER ARSENAL COUTINHO FOR GUENDOUZI

Barcelona are in talks to send Coutinho to Arsenal in exchange for Matteo Guendouzi, according to Foot Mercato.

Coutinho has struggled to have an impact at Barca, while Guendouzi seems set for an Arsenal exit.

Former Liverpool star Coutinho has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League.

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- Greenwood is set to be rewarded for his breakthrough season at Old Trafford. The Mirror reports the forward, who has scored 16 goals this campaign, is set to be offered a new deal to double his wages at Manchester United.

- Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico has been linked with a move away. Goal reports Atletico Madrid have joined the race for the Argentina international, who is also said to be a target for Chelsea.

- Manchester City could be set to sign a Brazilian teenager. According to the Daily Mail, City are in talks with Gremio over a £4.5million (€5m) deal for midfielder Diego Rosa.

- Compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, Joelson Fernandes is linked with several European heavyweights. A Bola reports Arsenal are leading the race for the Sporting CP forward, with Barcelona and Juventus also said to be interested.

- West Ham are preparing to make changes. The Sun reports they are open to offers for Manuel Lanzini and Fabian Balbuena ahead of next season.

- Amid apparent interest from the Bundesliga, Timothy Fosu-Mensah is set to be given a chance to earn a new contract at Manchester United, according to The Sun.

Diego Simeone has a clear vision on how Atletico Madrid can make upgrades during the upcoming transfer window. 

Atleti were unable to mount a title challenge this term but have guaranteed a top-four finish in LaLiga, meaning a place in next season's Champions League. 

While Simeone does not anticipate any major transfers taking place ahead of the 2020-21 season due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he already knows what new additions he wants at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

"We continually talk to Miguel [Angel Gil, CEO] and Andrea [Berta, sporting director] about what we need and what expectations we have," said Simeone. 

"We are clear about what we will seek. We have a growing team, new people who will serve as a base for the next season. 

"In this transfer window, where surely there will be no big moves, the one that gets a solid, strong base and can keep competing from one year to the next is the one that will continue to be in the fight for all competitions." 

Atleti are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions and have won seven of their 10 outings since LaLiga resumed in June. 

Their final domestic fixture before a Champions League quarter-final against RB Leipzig comes against Real Sociedad on Sunday. 

Asked if his squad is in the best shape it has been all season, Simeone said: "When the team wins the coach is very good, and when they lose he is very bad. When players are injured, the fault lies with the doctor and the coaches.

"The team prepared very well in quarantine. We came back in the best way, we were able to rotate in almost every game, especially at the beginning we changed six or seven players each game.

"Later we reduced the rotations because the players were able to respond to the demand, both when they were starters and when they came off the bench."

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone claimed his side's determination to churn out results to secure a LaLiga top-four finish during a season of upheaval augurs well for the future.

Simeone's side are on course to finish third in LaLiga after goals from Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey secured a 2-0 victory over Getafe in their penultimate league game of the season on Thursday.

It left Atleti two points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla – who drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad – and with a superior goal difference.

Simeone's side conclude their LaLiga campaign with a home match against Sociedad before their attention switches to the Champions League.

Atleti have a quarter-final match with RB Leipzig which will be played as a single-leg tie in Lisbon in August as part of a mini tournament to finish the competition.

It has been an impressive turnaround for Atleti and Simeone, who was under pressure earlier in the season but has now seen his side go 15 games unbeaten in LaLiga.

"There were many changes this year," Simeone said in a post-match media conference after the win over Getafe.

"Senior players left and new players came. In defence, for example. Periods of difficulty pass, but the team after the victory in Liverpool and the work since starting again has improved us.

"Being in the top four is important and a necessity for the club to continue growing.

"Is this a good signal for the Champions League? After the quarantine, except for the game against Real Betis and the first minutes against Getafe, the team has had work and a willingness to reach these good results."

Simeone started Diego Costa ahead of Alvaro Morata in attack against Getafe, with Llorente continuing in a playmaker role in behind.

And the Argentinian acknowledged the impressive displays of Llorente have made it difficult for his two leading strikers.

"Marcos has physical strength and danger with an assist, and with a goal. He is a boy to whom nobody gave anything and earns it day by day," added the Atleti coach.

"Costa has been through bad times and it is complex for the coach because Morata scores goals and whoever of the two is left out will be angry. 

"I have to guess the one that suits us in every game and maybe they are getting closer to being able to play together."

Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win over Getafe on Thursday to keep Diego Simeone's side on course for a third-place finish in LaLiga.

Getafe squandered a number of chances in the first half before Llorente struck eight minutes after the break with a fine finish from 20 yards.

Partey added a second goal when he tapped in from close range after a counterattack with 10 minutes left.

Getafe had Allan Nyom sent off late on for a high challenge as the defeat dented their bid to secure a Europa League place.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone made six changes to his side as Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco were both recalled to the starting line-up.

With an entirely new back four, Atleti's defence looked vulnerable and they were fortunate not to be behind at the break after an impressive first-half display from Getafe.

Jaime Mata had three good chances in quick succession early on as he lifted a shot over the bar, saw an effort hooked off the line by Felipe and miscued a close-range shot.

Atleti's best opportunity before the interval fell to Costa after he got on the end of Llorente's cross, but the striker could only guide his header over the crossbar.

The same combination linked up again three minutes into the second half, but Costa failed to hit the target from a central position following Llorente's cut back.

Llorente took matters into his own hands shortly afterwards when he smartly turned Getafe's David Timor on the edge of the box then wrong-footed goalkeeper David Soria with a low shot into the corner.

Partey made the points safe when he confidently guided the ball home after Getafe were caught on the break, and the home side then saw Nyom sent off in stoppage time.

 

 

What does it mean? Atletico edge closer to third

With Champions League football already assured for both, Atleti are jostling with Sevilla to finish in third spot.

This victory gave Simeone's side a two-point cushion over Sevilla – who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad – meaning they are well-placed to achieve their target.

Getafe are clinging on to the final Europa League spot in LaLiga after this defeat.

Llorente stars up front

Originally a bustling central midfielder, the former Real Madrid man has been reinvented as a versatile attacker by Simeone, and he oozed class against Getafe. Llorente was Atleti's most creative player with intelligent movement and capped a fine display with a well-taken goal.

Mata fails to make his mark

The Getafe striker escaped the attentions of Atleti's defence and frequently found himself in dangerous goalscoring positions, but all too often his poor finishing or a lapse in concentration let him down at the key moment.

What's next?

Atleti host Real Sociedad in their final LaLiga fixture of the season on Sunday, while Getafe travel to Levante.

 

Diego Simeone is not surprised by rumoured interest in Jan Oblak but hopes the goalkeeper will remain at Atletico Madrid.

Oblak has been named best keeper in LaLiga for the previous four seasons and has only conceded 26 goals in 36 games in the current campaign, helping Atleti once again clinch a top-four finish.

Chelsea are reported to be interested in the 27-year-old Slovenian, with speculation suggesting they could look to involve Kepa Arrizabalaga in player-plus-cash deal.

Simeone has become accustomed to rumours over the future of key players in his squad, however, as was the case previously in the Antoine Griezmann transfer saga before he eventually joined domestic rivals Barcelona.

"It does not surprise me, every year our most important players are wanted by the best in the world," the Atletico boss told the media ahead of Thursday's game with Getafe.

"It is normal to always look for the best – and we have many. Some have left and others have stayed.

"It is logical and normal that anyone wants Oblak. He is our captain and an important player. I hope we can count on his work, which is enormous for Atleti."

When asked again about Oblak's future at Atletico during the media call, Simeone replied: "I repeat the same thing: it is normal that they want a goalkeeper of his characteristics and value.

"It does not surprise me. He is decisive and important in the dressing room year after year. He has evolved in every way, as a goalkeeper and within the group."

Oblak has been integral in helping Atletico's nine-match unbeaten run since the resumption of the season in Spain.

The impressive streak – which includes a 2-2 draw away to second-place Barcelona – has secured Champions League football again for next season, while they still remain in the running to win this year's competition after knocking out holders Liverpool in the last 16.

For Simeone, qualification is crucial for Atleti's development both on and off the field.

"It's our responsibility to qualify, always looking at the growth that the club has from this possibility that we generate by qualifying year after year," he said.

"That's how the club grows in every aspect, so it is a responsibility, an objective to be met, which is not easy always to do in life.

"We all have objectives, in any type of job. I have the luck, the work ethic and the perseverance to qualify every year and allow the club to grow and improve. When the goals are met it is normal for the club to grow."

For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

- Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

- While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

- According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

Diego Simeone is looking for improvement from Atletico Madrid despite securing Champions League qualification once more.

A 74th-minute goal from Diego Costa saw 10-man Atletico overcome Real Betis 1-0 on Saturday to qualify for the Champions League for an eighth straight season.

Atletico had only played in Europe's top club competitions eight times in total before qualifying for the 2013-14 Champions League.

But head coach Simeone is refusing to rest, eager for Atletico to continue growing.

"I don't stop to analyse what is being done," he told a news conference, via AS.

"We always seek to improve and grow and the only way is to give the club the possibility with our work on the field that they can manage the tremendous growth of the club in these years.

"If there was a moment to qualify for the Champions League as it was, it was what happened in the match, because this is us.

"They hit us and we got up and we always compete and we will continue to compete, having all the energy so that all four legs – fans, players, coach and club – we stay firm.

"This is Atletico Madrid and I think that in the second half when it seemed that everything was going to suffer, we won."

Costa's winner came 17 minutes after Atletico were reduced to 10 men when Mario Hermoso was sent off.

Atletico are on a 16-match unbeaten run ahead of visiting Getafe on Thursday.

Diego Costa denied that his goal in Atletico Madrid's 1-0 victory over Real Betis was scored with the assistance of his arm.

Atleti secured the win they needed to clinch a top-four finish in LaLiga on Saturday, despite playing over half an hour with 10 men following Mario Hermoso's straight red card for a foul on Loren Moron.

Costa was sent on as one of a trio of attacking changes just before Hermoso's dismissal and, after Diego Simeone's side absorbed some late pressure, he guided Yannick Carrasco's free-kick into the bottom-right corner to seal the three points.

Betis defender Marc Bartra played Costa onside but a lengthy VAR check was conducted to see whether the Atleti striker had used his arm in the process of scoring.

The replays appeared inconclusive and the goal was allowed to stand, unlike first-half efforts for Angel Correa and Alvaro Morata that were chalked off with video assistance.

"It would be one thing if they called it offside for my goal but it didn't come off my arm. I'm very clear it wasn't [handball] and I'm happy," Costa told Movistar.

"It was a difficult game after Mario's red card. Our goal was to finish in the top four. Now we have that and we've got two more games we have to try to win to continue our good form.

"I think it was a good sign that we scored from a set-piece. We were in control. What happened in the second half made it more difficult, but we had a bit of luck and got the win.

"I don't know why we always have to suffer like this, but we always suffer and win. If we don't suffer, we don't feel right, so we're happy and we'll look for more glory."

Referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez maintained his decision to dismiss Hermoso after a trip to the pitchside monitor, but Costa felt a booking would also have been a fair punishment.

"If they'd given a yellow card for Mario Hermoso then fine. I think it was on the limit and in the end the referee has to make the decision, but I think a yellow or red was fair," he said.

Guido Rodriguez disagreed with Costa's assessment of the goal, claiming the ball clearly struck the attacker's arm.

"We saw that when Costa scored it touched his arm, but they didn't make that decision, so that's how it was," the Betis midfielder said.

"We played with a player more, looking for the goal, but we leave pretty annoyed because we couldn't get it."

Diego Costa guaranteed 10-man Atletico Madrid's place in next season's Champions League by heading home the winner in a 1-0 LaLiga victory over Real Betis.

Atleti looked destined to hold on for at most a draw after Mario Hermoso was shown a straight red card for a foul on Loren Moron, but substitute Costa steered home Yannick Carrasco's free-kick in the 74th minute to secure a top-four finish for Diego Simeone's men.

After seeing goals for Angel Correa and Alvaro Morata overturned by VAR, there were concerns Costa's header would be ruled out during a lengthy check for handball.

However, the goal was allowed to stand, ensuring Atleti will return to European football's top table in 2020-21.

 

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