Police raid Diego Costa’s home, his lawyer says ex-Chelsea striker is not financier of the criminal racket

Diego Costa’s lawyer insists the football star is innocent of any wrongdoing after he was probed by police over alleged links to an online betting scandal.

The 32-year-old, now playing for Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, was identified earlier this week as the footballer being investigated.

According to The Sun, Detectives in the state of Sergipe where Costa was born went public with their operation on Thursday.

They say they were probing the practice of alleged crimes including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud involving online betting site Esportenet.

The footballer, 32, has yet to make any official comment.

But overnight his lawyer Aurelio Belem, confirming the Spanish international’s home in the Brazilian city of Lagarto had been searched, said the footballer had done nothing wrong and would be contacting police himself to give a statement voluntarily.

Mr Belem, denying police claims Costa was the alleged financier of the criminal racket, told local media: “A search took place of his house, which is his home in Lagarto. State police were received by his relatives.

“That search took place because Diego, as a European citizen, as someone who was living in Madrid in Spain, placed legal, legitimate bets on games.

“Some way or other, that was detected and became the focus of checks.

“Police carried out their search as and when they wanted, without any interference.

“They took nothing, nothing was seized, no documents or money. Absolutely nothing.

“The search was unsuccessful in the sense nothing was confiscated.

“There was a search but no seizures. Nothing was removed from the house.”

He added, claiming the footballer would be contacting police to offer to make a statement: “The truth is that Diego wants to know what the accusation against him is, although in a way there is no accusation from a juridical point of view.

“There’s no basis for this investigation.

“We all know the onus of proof is on the accuser and we’re relaxed about that.”