Saul Niguez, the Atletico Madrid midfielder, has said that Diego Costa’s return to the team will put Antoine Griezmann on alert.

There have been persistent reports linking Griezmann with Manchester United after the team made him a major transfer target over the summer.

The return of Costa has prompted speculation that Atletico may need to sell a player or two to lower their wage bill in order to comply with La Liga’s financial control rules. With United known to still be interested in Griezmann this means that the player’s position may be precarious.

Talking to Deportes Cuatro TV Niguez said that Costa’s arrival from Chelsea means that Atletico’s other forwards, such as Vitolo, Angel Correa, Kevin Gameiro and Fernando Torres, will all have to stay alert.

“Costa’s return will be good for everyone,” he said. “For sure, he will put all the forwards on alert, including Griezmann.”

There have been many reports linking Niguez with a move away from Atletico with both United and Barcelona thought to be interested in him. However, speaking recently Niguez said that the long-term contract he signed with the team last summer shows that he is committed to the club.

Speaking to the Guardian Niguez said, “If you sign until 2026 it’s because you mean it. It’s not as if I’ve reached a level where I can’t get better here. I want to give everything to be the best. The club is growing and there’s still room to improve. It’s like a family. And I have my parents, my brothers, friends, a partner who gives me tremendous stability. I have everything in life now.”

Costa will be wearing the No. 18 shirt at Atletico but the club has declined to give details of the price of the transfer or of the contract.