Diego Costa made the headlines last year both for his goalscoring and his protracted nationality switch from Brazilian to Spanish. 2014 begins with a World Cup on the horizon, but before that, the explosive forward is set to be one of the most sought-after names swashing about in the transfer window.
Costa is very much “hot property”, and with top-quality strikers at a premium, Atletico Madrid may well be fielding some interest over the coming days.
Stay in touch with this article over the coming days to keep on top of any news and rumours surrounding Diego Costa’s immediate future.
—LAST UPDATED FRIDAY JAN 17—
Friday, January 17
According to David Woods of the Daily Star, it is Chelsea who have emerged as the favourites to recruit Diego Costa—but at the end of the season, not during this window.
Woods indicates that Blues boss Jose Mourinho “has earmarked scoring sensation Diego Costa as his major summer signing” and is prepared to hold off on a transfer until the end of the current campaign.
The Brazil-born Spanish international has a £32 million release clause in his contract, and this kind of fee should be well within the reach of Chelsea, who this week spent £20.8 million to recruit Nemanja Matic from Benfica.
Costa has already scored 23 goals in 22 appearances so far this term and would be the kind of player who could thoroughly solve some of Chelsea’s notable attacking deficiencies.
United have been linked with a number of Spanish players since David Moyes arrived at the helm. Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao is a long-term target, while Koke has been earmarked as someone who would bring international class to the midfield.
The name that will truly get Red Devils fans excited is Diego Costa.
Last week, the Daily Mail reported that Manchester United scouts had been in Spain to watch Costa, indicating that a bid might be imminent.
If Moyes does opt to move for Costa, he is likely to face competition from elsewhere in the Premier League.
According to Gary Jones of the Daily Star, Arsenal are “on target” to secure Costa.
Bookmakers have apparently “slashed their odds” on the Spaniard becoming a Gunner before the end of January. Stan Kroenke and the Arsenal board have backed Arsene Wenger, sensing that the Premier League title might not be out of the club’s reach this season.
The French manager has been given funds to strengthen the side, and he will be aware that Costa is the kind of recruit who could push Arsenal toward the title. The injury suffered by Theo Walcott has also left Wenger a little light in the attacking department, and Costa’s certainty in front of goal would certainly alleviate any concerns he might have.
Any potential move of Diego Costa to one of the Premier League’s big clubs will surely pique the interest of Chelsea. The Blues have the resources and the ambition to contend with anyone and, considering their own deficiencies up front, would be loath to let Manchester United or Arsenal steal one of the world’s finest from under their noses.
Mike Prindiville of NBC Sports is one source to suggest that Jose Mourinho might be preparing to use Juan Mata as part of a deal to secure Costa. The relationship between the Spanish playmaker and the Portuguese manager has been strained all season, and Mourinho may well be keen to offload a high-profile name that has proved to be a divisive figure.
Chelsea have a fine complement of creative midfielders and would surely benefit more from the ferocious forward play of Costa than the creative wiles of Mata.