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The Hat-trick | Everton-City Match Called Off Due To Covid-19 Surge; Diego Costa Seeks Contract Termination with Atletico; Scottish Club Kilmarnock’s Manager Subjected to Racist Abuse

The Hat-trick (Top Football News of the Day): Everton’s Premier League match against Manchester City at home was called off due to new COVID-19 cases reported at City | Diego Costa has stopped training with Atletico Madrid at the moment and approached club officials seeking means to end his contract | Kilmarnock contact police after letter with 'racist abuse' sent to manager.
Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid

Diego Costa’s second stint at Atletico, which started in 2018, has been marred with injuries and indifferent form.

The Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City yesterday was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the teams. The Toffees were due to play host to Pep Guardiola's team Monday night.

The match was called off due to a spike in the number of positive Covid-19 tests in the City camp. The match will be rescheduled, but it has not yet been decided when it will go ahead.

"After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day,” a Premier League statement announcing the postponement said.

"With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond,” it added. "Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.

"All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume."

End Looms for Costa at Atletico

Diego Costa has had a disastrous second coming at Atletico Madrid and the forward, as per reports, is keen to move on as early as possible -- before the January transfer window to be exact -- even if it means breaking the contact with the La Liga leaders.

Costa was a driving force for the club during his first spell, and his powerful presence and goals helped the Diego Simeone-coached side secure the Liga title in 2013-14. Chelsea scooped him up following his exploits with Atleti, and in London he won two Premier League crowns before returning to Atletico in 2018. The Spain international has had a torrid spell since then plagued by injuries. He has made only seven appearances in La Liga this season, scoring two goals.

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Costa has stopped training with the club at the moment and is seeking means to end his contract. As per a report in AS, he has approached club officials to have his deal terminated. His current contract with Atletico ends in the summer of 2021.

Atletico are open to the prospect of letting the 32-year-old striker move on as long as they can secure a replacement for him. Simeone does not want to head into a title winning second half of the season with just one attacking option in Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has been in good form following his transfer from FC Barcelona this season but has been plagued by injuries too. 

Atletico look primed to challenge for the Liga title. They are currently level on points at the top of the table with Real Madrid but have two games in hand.

Scottish Club Contacts Police After 'Racist Abuse' at Manager

Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock contacted police after receiving a letter on Monday containing “racist abuse” directed at manager Alex Dyer, the club said. The 55-year-old Englishman is the only black manager in the Scottish top flight.

“We are working with Police Scotland to identify any individuals involved in this disgusting act and we will pursue the strongest possible action we can against them,” Kilmarnock said in a statement.

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“As a club, we have shown our support to rid the game and society as a whole of racial discrimination by taking the knee before each fixture this season and we will continue to do so.

“Racism in any form is completely unacceptable and must be called out whenever and wherever it is found.”

Livingston’s late winner on Saturday made it five defeats in a row for Kilmarnock and eight losses in nine league games. After the defeat, Dyer admitted he would have no complaints if the club’s board decided his time was up, although he believes he retains its backing, as well as that of his players.

Eighth-placed Kilmarnock’s next game on Wednesday is away to Motherwell, who are below them in the table on goal difference.

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