Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque is ready to leave Diego Costa out of his squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Romania, as punish for the Chelsea striker's behaviour during the FA Cup loss to Everton, according to Cadena Cope show El Partido de Las 12. Del Bosque is set to announce his 23-man squad on Friday (18 March), and the prestigious radio show says Costa will be snubbed to make room for Athletic Club Bilbao's in-form Aritz Aduriz.
Del Bosque has repeatedly backed Costa to be La Roja's number 9 since the 2014 World Cup, filling the gap left by David Villa and Fernando Torres despite the claims of Juventus star Alvaro Morata and Valencia's Paco Alcacer. However, the Chelsea striker is yet to bring his club form to the national stage, scoring just one goal in ten appearances. Spanish fans have also rejected him due to a belief his aggressive style of play does not fit into the national team's passing philosophy.
The Spanish manager may still believe Costa can fit into his plans, Cadena Cope claims he will be excluding him from his forthcoming squad amid fallout from the Everton game.
The Chelsea striker was sent off after a confrontation with Gareth Barry late in the game, with the Costa moving his head towards the Englishman in what commentators suggested was a biting motion. Barry denied he was bitten, but the FA have charged the striker with improper conduct over his actions, also asking the player to clarify the gesture he seemed to make towards Everton supporters at half-time.
COPE said Del Bosque considers this behaviour "unjustifiable". The former Real Madrid boss is ready to punish Costa by leaving him out of his next squad, although this does not mean he has no future with the national team ahead of Euro 2016.
Del Bosque left Costa out of his squad earlier this season after the FA retrospectively punished the striker with violent conduct in an ill-tempered derby against Arsenal, where he shoved his hand in Laurent Koscielny's face. The manager said the ban had no impact on his decision to drop him, but admitted he was unimpressed with the striker's behaviour.
"We have made the decision we considered right. But we already thought [of leaving him out] before [as he couldn't play the first game]. But his ban is not something uplifting. It was not nice. I certainly do not like what he did," Del Bosque said.
35-year-old Aduriz, who has scored 30 goals in 46 appearances for Bilbao this term, is expected to fill the gap.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Marca earlier this week revealed that more than 82% of the Spanish fans wanted the Blues striker snubbed in favour of someone else following his antics at Everton.