Diego Costa reportedly refused to train with Atletico Madrid on Thursday, after news broke that the club would be fining him following his foul-mouthed tirade at referee Jesus Gil Manzano during the 2-0 defeat to Barcelona a fortnight ago [via Reuters].
A club source confirmed that the Spaniard had missed Atletico's training session on Thursday, citing "personal reasons". The player's representatives did not respond when asked for comment.
Costa, who's entire career has been surrounded by controversy, was banned for eight league games by the Spanish FA after his rant against league leaders Barcelona, meaning he will not feature for the club again this season.
Spanish media said that Costa found out on Wednesday that Atletico would be issuing him with a fine for misdemeanour, which makes his absence from training the following day seem extremely suspicious.
After the Barcelona clash, Atletico's general manager, Clemente Villaverde, said that Costa's behaviour was "reprehensible and seriously damaged the club".
Atletico's manager, Diego Simeone, who is also known for his fiery side, shared a different view on the incident.
"Costa is an animal who can do things that make us suffer like what happened at the Nou Camp when he really needed him," said the 48-year-old.
"But I don't judge players for one incident, I evaluate them for everything and there are many more positive than negative things about Diego." [via Goal.com]
Second-placed Atletico travel to Eibar this Saturday, hoping to close the nine-point gap between themselves and Barcelona at the top of the summit, though it looks as if the Catalans already have the league wrapped up once again thanks to a run of four straight wins at the Camp Nou since mid-February.