Arsenal will turn their attention toward Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa after refusing to meet Porto's £32 million valuation of Juan Quintero, according to reports.
The Gunners have strengthened impressively this summer, landing the mercurial talent of Alexis Sanchez alongside deals for Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers. Jamie Anderson of the Express suggests Costa could be added to this list as a temporary option for the London club:
Reports claim Arsene Wenger refused to meet Quintero's inflated £32m valuation, and will opt to sign Costa on a season-long loan instead.
The Brazilian is unhappy about his return to domestic side Shakhtar Donetsk because of the volatile state of the Ukraine.
Which position do Arsenal need to strengthen most?
Jack de Menezes of The Independent indicated Arsenal were preparing a bid for Costa at the end of July, but this appeared to halt when links to Quintero first became public. However, Arsene Wenger may be unwilling to part with a cash sum for the 23-year-old after already spending lavishly on four players this summer, making a loan move viable for both.
Costa is said to be "one of six Brazilians who have refused" to return to Shakhtar due to violence in Ukraine between the nation's government and pro-Russian separatists, per De Menezes. Safety certainly takes priority over football, meaning the player's alleged wishes are totally understandable at this difficult time for all in the country.
Arsenal would be signing an interesting attacking midfielder if he does arrive. Costa is agile, pacey and difficult to pin down when in possession. He is stylish on the ball and has the capacity to speed up Arsenal's play, but he isn't a prolific goalscorer. The developing youngster contributed four goals in 27 appearances during Shakhtar's run to the domestic title, noted by WhoScored.com.
However, Costa's signing would overlook Wenger's imminent need for a defensive midfielder. He doesn't offer much of a physical contribution and has the potential to overinflate the side's attacking options in midfield.
Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are among the names competing for space in the lineup. Costa would need to play exceptionally to oust the majority of these from the team on a permanent basis.
Wenger already possesses one left-footed hopeful in the shape of Joel Campbell, a player he recently confirmed he wants to remain at the club this season, per Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard:
I like the way he plays, he’s good on the ball, creative and collectively as well he has a good balance between individual skill and collective attitude — that’s not easy to find. There’s no reason to let him go. I want to keep him.
Campbell deserves a shot at breaking into the first team after his successful loan spell with Olympiakos and performances for Costa Rica at the World Cup. It seems Wenger would be unnecessarily overlooking the tricky forward if Costa was to be snapped up.
Football writer Eduardo Mendez expects big things of Campbell, as highlighted prior to his recent start against Benfica during the Emirates Cup:
Joel Campbell finally gets the start for Arsenal. Today marks the beginning of something great. #CRC— Eduardo Mendez (@Mendez_FC) August 2, 2014
Whether Costa could break his way in to this side remains debatable. He would certainly add creativity from the bench and a harrying presence on the ball, but Wenger needs to address other areas of his squad before gaining another attacking midfielder.
The boss would be better served to hunt for another out-and-out striker or defensive midfielder, transfers that could take care of issues either side of Costa's position.