Are Simeone's comments proof Atleti will deal with life without Costa?

Diego Costa attempting an overhead volley

Atletico Madrid manager is unperturbed about the prospect of being without Chelsea target against Real Madrid in Champions League final.

It was only a matter of weeks ago when Diego Simeone (pictured above, left) fist-bumped, threw his arms around and celebrated with Diego Costa (above, right), after the predatory penalty-box striker scored a vital goal against Chelsea in the semifinal of the Champions League.

Chelsea had held Atletico to a 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon on April 22 using catenaccio-style tactics yet the Spanish side were able to unlock the defensive door the following week, winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, with Costa converting from the penalty spot on the hour mark.

The irony, that Costa scored for Atletico at a ground he was highly-speculated to be scoring in every other Saturday the next season, was not lost on sports writers, but in that one moment above, Simeone cared not.

The Blues hardly struggled for goals in Premier League competition alone, returning 71 goals after 38 games, third only to free-scoring Liverpool and swashbuckling Manchester City, yet only a fraction of those strikers would have been netted from the club's strikers - as there is a dearth of quality in that department.

The anticipated signing of Costa, currently injured with a muscle strain, was expected to provide a much-needed prolific touch in the final third to Jose Mourinho's first eleven.

Simeone, who has this week been readying his side for a Champions League final against local rivals Real Madrid, downplayed the importance of Costa - who has scored eight and assisted twice from eight European outings this season.

He is quoted by Sky Sports to have said that: "Costa and Arda [Turan] are important players but they're just names. It will either be them playing or two other players that we know."

Is this perhaps a sign that Simeone is preparing for life after Costa's seemingly inevitable departure?

If Simeone feels he can cope without the threat that Costa has whenever he is on the field for the most important game of the season, tomorrow night's tournament climax in Portugal, then it perhaps stands to logic that he can cope without him in the coming season.

After all, it is not like Costa would not be adequately replaced. Atletico are a team who have, history has taught us, long contained lethal strikers - Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan all spring to mind. 

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