With a little under two weeks of the transfer window to go, Diego Costa stays an Atletico Madrid player. It remains to be seen, however, whether he will still be at the Estadio Vicente Calderon beyond the end of January.
Having made headlines for his nationality switch in 2013, Costa may well be making headlines for his goalscoring and potential World Cup impact in 2014. Could he also be making news as one of the year’s major transfers?
This article will keep you updated on all of the Diego Costa transfer news and rumours over the coming seven days; check back and find out how things are progressing for the explosive frontman.
***Updated: Friday, January 24***
Friday, January 24
The former-Argentine international has refused to confirm that none of his big names would be leaving the club during the remaining week of the transfer window.
He told Spanish station Cuatro: “No one is indispensible. What's most important is the club,"
Before continuing: "Atletico has always had a turnover at the striker position from Torres, Aguero... Atletico, as a club, has always survived."
Could these words be preparation for a departure?
While both London clubs would be well-served to recruit another forward to aide their title challenges, a summer move remains the most likely option for Costa.
Speaking to Italy’s Tele Radio Stereo, via Dermot Corrigan of ESPNFC.com, Atletico Madrid’s sporting director seemed to suggest that although the club cannot stand in the way of potentially lucrative player sales, they are not required to sell Costa imminently.
Andrea Berta said:
Atletico is a club which, due to its nature, must sell every year. [But] we believe we can have our players at least one year more.
Diego Pablo Simeone passes on his characteristics to the players. The group identifies with him, and with his charisma. He can make all the players be important inside the team.
Despite Atletico’s fine current campaign, in which they find themselves neck and neck with La Liga’s big two, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Berta is clearly aware of the financial realities that separate Atleti from their domestic rivals.
Could Berta’s honest admission indicate that Diego Costa could soon be on his way? As the club’s most coveted asset, the Spaniard could well demand the kind of transfer fee that would ease the club’s concerns for another season or two.
Ben Burrows of the Mirror has indicated that Jose Mourinho might well be turning to Costa to solve his side’s attacking deficiencies.
Ahead of their demolition of Manchester United on Sunday, the Blues have looked rusty in front of goal. Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o had been struggling to find the form they enjoyed earlier in their illustrious careers, while Demba Ba seemed to be heading toward the exit door.
Now it seems like the Portuguese manager has set his sights on Costa as a potential problem solver.
Burrows has suggested that the striker could be brought to London as part of a swap deal with Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois heading in the other direction. The stopper has been on loan at Atleti for two seasons and has intimated that he is not prepared to play second fiddle to Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge.
Courtois is highly rated by the Chelsea hierarchy, but he could emerge as a valuable asset in the bid to snare Costa, who himself has a £32 million release clause.
According to Gorst, “The French boss recognises this is his team’s greatest chance in years to end their near decade-long trophy drought, but reinforcements are needed.”
Particularly considering Theo Walcott’s knee injury, which has ended any prospect of him being involved in the run-in, Arsenal are desperately short of firepower. Olivier Giroud is enjoying an admirable campaign but perhaps doesn’t possess shoulders broad enough to handle the pressure of a title tilt.
The Gunners could splash the cash over the coming two weeks in order to give them that extra firepower that may have been lacking thus far. Costa certainly possesses the class and the quality to influence the remaining months of the season.