It looks as though Arsenal will see their persistence tested in the hunt to sign Diego Costa this winter, but it's essential that the Gunners battle on to add the Brazilian to their ranks.
Costa is but one of several attackers allegedly being lined up as reinforcements at the Emirates Stadium, with Olivier Giroud having shouldered a vast majority of the club's striking duties thus far in the campaign.
Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t David Kent of the Daily Mail) has quoted Atleti technical director Jose Luis Caminero as saying that the hitman isn't seeking a move away and hinted that Costa will see out his current contract:
Should Arsenal pursue Costa this January?
"Right now Costa does not think of leaving, he is contracted to Atletico. He has renewed with us which is important. He has shown that he wants to continue at this club."
Arsenal head into the New Year on top of the Premier League table for the first time since the 2007/08 season, but have found their lack of options up front to be a particular frustration.
As is suggested in the Marca report, Costa's signature might require triggering the South American's £32 million release clause, something which no longer looks downright impossible at the Emirates following the summer acquisition of Mesut Ozil.
If Arsenal were able to make a deal work financially, Costa's talents would make him the ideal attacking addition for the North London outfit, which are relying on the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Serge Gnabry as striking cover at the moment.
The return to fitness of Lukas Podolski has added another candidate to play up front, but Arsene Wenger seems adamant to stick with what he knows and play the German, along with Theo Walcott, on the wings.
In any case, Sky Sports' Guillem Balague doesn't believe that Costa should even be considered an option:
Arsenal will not get Diego Costa in January. Not a chance. In the summer they will have to fight with other big clubs for him— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 24, 2013
The fine balancing act in any deal for Costa would involve the club pleasing their options in attack, handing both Giroud and Costa satisfactory playing time in a formation that only houses one striking presence.
Given that a 4-2-3-1 line-up has served the Gunners well this far in the campaign, it's unlikely that any great shift in tactics will occur soon, so it's a good thing that Costa has experience functioning as part of a similar setup.
Costa's arrival would give Wenger another world-class talent and reliable presence in front of goal, who could in time push Giroud on to producing more consistency in his own regard.
One of the underlying aspects to the deal is that Costa would be unavailable to feature for the Gunners in European competition, but even then one could argue that the positives outweigh the negatives as long as the English giants were to land their prolific target.
If Arsenal were able to come to terms with that, Costa's addition to the forward ranks would be a substantial improvement in the club's options, urging Wenger's side onto that Premier League push for the end-of-season run-in.