Arsenal swoop for €40m Atletico striker Costa
Arsenal could be preparing a €40m swoop for Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The striker has bagged 19 goals in 17 games so far this season, and Wenger is still keen to improve his attacking options following recent fitness concerns over main striker Olivier Giroud.
With Arsenal leading the Premier League by the slenderest of advantages at present, and with the winter transfer window having opened on New Year’s Day, Wenger could be keen to swoop and get the deal done as quickly as possible – though Atletico may be somewhat reluctant to sell in the middle of a season, especially with an upcoming clash with Italian giants AC Milan in the Champions League.
Wenger is believed to have plans B and C in place in case the Costa deal fails to materialise, however, with unsettled Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov and Man United star Javier Hernandez also on the Gunners’ radar.
The Berbatov deal would be something of an eye opener considering his past allegiance to bitter north London rivals Spurs, but Wenger reportedly moved to cool talk of the German travelling back to London to sign on at the Emirates.
Hernandez’s capture, meanwhile, could prove an impressive swoop for Wenger. He failed in a bid to land Man United striker Wayne Rooney in the summer, but the capture of Rooney’s team-mate could prove to the doubters that Arsenal are still capable of attracting top players and are seen as a favourable destination for international-class stars – success breeds success, as they say.
Costa joined Atletico in 2007 for a reported €1.5m fee for 50% ownership (as football laws on the continent permit players to be owned by two different clubs), and so €40m would surely prove a tempting offer considering the massive profit potential from the six years he has spent with the club.
Costa made his international debut with Brazil in March last year, coming on as a substitute in the 2-2 friendly draw with Italy in Geneva, but has since withdrawn from the squad in the hope of featuring in a competitive tournament with Spain.
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