Arsenal’s hopes of landing La Liga star Diego Costa have suffered a setback after Atletico Madrid technical director Andrea Berta revealed that they are set to keep the Brazilian for a further season.
The 25 year old has scored 19 goals in 19 games this campaign and he has been the instrumental player in Atletico’s incredible first half of the season, which sees them in contention to break Real Madrid and Barcelona’s stranglehold on the league.
The striker has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium over the last couple of months as Arsene Wenger is keen to add a world class striker to his ranks.
When asked if Atletico will negotiate Costa’s sale to the Premier League giants, Berta opened the door for the future but ruled out any sale either January or this summer.
According to a Italian radio station, he said:
Atletico is a club that must sell players every year, but we think that we can keep our best players at least another year.
Costa is an excellent all round striker and is capable of playing anywhere in the attacking positions. He’s known for his strength and power, while he is also good in the air, but is not being afraid to track back and put in a tackle. He is well built and tends to drop into the midfield to get the ball and then look to supply to his other fellow forwards.
The Gunners have been haunted by injuries to their forwards throughout the season losing Walcott for the rest of the season and Bendtner until next month. Giroud recently returned from injury but Arsenal lack depth up front.
With the absence of Walcott, Arsenal lack someone who can make runs off Giroud when he holds the ball up. We have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and young German star Serge Gnabry but they lack the quality of finish that Costa can provide. If Arsenal want to end their trophy drought they need to sign someone who can bring lots of goals and also something different to the team and Costa is the ideal man for the job.
Although he would be a dream signing, his price tag is far too high, especially as Atletico will not be willing to part with their prized asset during one of their most competitive seasons in recent history. He does have a ‘buyout clause’ of around the £32m, however in Spain the player himself must pay the clause fee to his club in order to be released from his contract. That means the Gunners (or whoever else finances the move) would have to pay the player directly which would lead to tax implications. A club would have to shell out at least £40m or more, not to mention somehow convincing the La Liga second top scorer to depart a side that has the potential to break Barcelona and Real’s dominance, AND have a punt at the Champions League.
Seems incredibly unlikely, especially as he would literally be the perfect signing.