Arsenal Transfer News: Targets Diego Costa and Koke Will Stay at Atletico Madrid

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 7, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 21: Diego Costa of Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Levante UD at Vicente Calderon Stadium on December 21, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

When all hope was lost in Arsene Wenger this summer, the Gunners' manager went out and signed Mesut Ozil, putting to bed the notion that Arsenal was "cheap" when it came to transfers. 

If Wenger's squad is going to take home EPL hardware for the first time in nearly a decade this season, he may have to do the same in January, as the club's search for a striker carries on. 

The Ozil signing was undoubtedly one of the best across the world, as several players around the German maestro have raised their games, and the Gunners, who have sat atop the EPL for much of the season, currently lead Manchester City by a single point. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Mesut Oezil of Arsenal celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Hull City at Emirates Stadium on December 4, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty I
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Still, no side is complete at this point in the campaign, and if Arsenal are going to hold off giants such as Manchester City and Chelsea, they could use some help up front. 

Unfortunately, the most enticing option to fill that role, Diego Costa, is now off the radar, according to Atletico Madrid sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero. 

Francisco Acedo of Sky Sports passes along the quotes, which come from Spanish newspaper Marca:

The player has a clause of 38 millions euros and the big clubs in England know this.

Diego Costa has matured and is smart when it comes to decision making.

Right now, Costa does not think of leaving, he is hooked on Atletico. He has re-signed a deal that is important, I am confident he will continue with us.

The writing was sort of on the wall when Wenger, via The Metro's Jamie Sanderson, said that the talented Brazilian was going to cost a silly £145 million, but this news essentially shuts the book on the 25-year-old striker. 

It's unfortunate, as he is in the midst of a transcendent season. In 18 La Liga appearances for Los Colchoneros, Costa has poured in 19 goals and fired off 3.2 shots per contest, according to

Trailing only the other-planetary talent Cristiano Ronaldo for La Liga goals, Costa has been nearly unstoppable. Gabriele Marcotti of ESPN summed up the effect he has while on the pitch:

Put Costa in front of Arsenal's dynamite midfield, and you have a truly scary attack. Alas, it will be back to the drawing board for the Gunners, perhaps in the form of Porto's Jackson Martinez, who has said "if I get a chance to play for a high level club like Arsenal I wouldn't hesitate to accept it," via the Daily Star's Colin Harvey

The 27-year-old Colombian has 14 goals in 20 appearances across all competitions for Porto, including two in the Champions League, but the Gunners' interest in him is nothing more than a rumour at this point. 

Arsenal will also have to look elsewhere than Atletico Madrid if they want to bolster their stacked midfield, as Koke isn't going anywhere.

When asked about United's interest, Caminero responded:

I'm not surprised with this subject.

He is a player who has improved considerably. It has also made it into the Spain squad and that puts you in the spotlight and opens more eyes.

Koke will be with us for many years. I am convinced.

The 21-year-old has four goals and eight assists in 18 La Liga appearances this season, leading his side in key passes per contest.