Diego Costa has been given an eight-game ban for his expletive-laden rant at referee Jesus Gil Manzano during Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 defeat by Barcelona on Saturday.
With just seven games left Costa, who was shown a straight red card, will not feature for the remainder of the season and may have played his last game for Atletico.
Gil said in his match report that Costa twice said to him: ‘I s*** on you w**** mother’.
The referee’s report also accuses Costa of holding the referee’s arm so as to prevent him taking out more cards for his team-mates.
Gil’s report read: ‘Once sent-off, still on the pitch, he grabbed my arm to prevent me from showing yellow cards to his team-mates No 24 [Jose Gimenez] and No 2 [Diego Godin].’
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) also fined the former Chelsea forward nearly £5200.
Costa has only played 21 of Atletico’s 41 matches this season and has only scored five goals. He was booked in the club’s Champions League last-16 first leg with Juventus ruling him out of the second leg in Turin. And he let the team down again at the weekend.
Sources close to the club in Madrid have speculated since Saturday’s defeat that patience has run out and the offers for the 30-year-old will be listened to at the end of the season.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone has long defended Costa but he could be seen shaking his head as Costa went off down the tunnel on Saturday.
‘He transmits a positive vibe around the place,’ Simeone said of Costa earlier in the season. ‘He is aggressive and intense and stretches the opposition giving the forwards more space to play in between the lines.’
He likes the idea of Costa leading the line and Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata operating just behind him but even he is beginning to envisage an Atletico without the former Chelsea striker.