Diego Costa’s has propelled Atletico Madrid into the thick of a title fight with La Liga big boys Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Spanish striker has been one of the most lethal finishers on the planet this season and is currently third in the race for the European Golden Shoe. He has scored 42 points only behind Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo; ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi. The summer transfer window promises to be an exciting one with many teams fighting for the signature of Diego Costa…
Name: Diego Costa
Team: Atletico Madrid
Market value: £26,500,000 (source: TransferMarkt)
Wanted by: Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, PSG, Real Madrid
Diego Costa has struck 21 goals in the LIGA BBVA this season with a further four assists. His goals have put his side right in the mix for the title as well as in contention for the UEFA Champions League with seven goals in five games.
Costa’s goal-scoring has had teams around the globe keeping tabs on the Brazilian born forward. His work-rate both on and off the ball is fantastic coupled with great technical ability make him a deadly player. Some spectacular acrobatic goals against AC Milan and Getafe further enhanced his growing reputation.
Arguably the main contenders for his signature are London giants Chelsea. Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his disappointment at the strikers at his disposable. Demba Ba ha not impressed enough to be considered as first choice, Fernando Torres has failed again to make an impact at the club and despite have the best scoring record Samuel Eto’o has still raised eyebrows.
Mourinho wants a world class striker to add to his forward line alongside the magical Eden Hazard. Radamel Falcao was considered a viable option but after his struggles in Monaco, Costa has emerged as the primary target for the Blues. Costa will work hard, hassle opponents; he isn’t just a penalty box forward. His release clause reportedly stands at around £32m which Chelsea could easily meet thanks to the wealth of owner Roman Abramovich. Chelsea have a good relationship with the Spanish side after loaning Belgian goalkeeper Thiabaut Courtois for consecutive seasons and there is rumours of Chelsea offering Torres a route back to his former club in any deal that is thrashed out.
The returning Romelu Lukaku’s future still hangs in the balance and could depend on whether Mourinho makes a move for Costa. However, the Atletico Madrid man could be the difference in next year’s title race but could see the young Belgian depart Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal are another side interested in bringing Costa to the Premier League after seeing their title challenge slip up yet again. Wenger feels the need to add another top striking option to provide Olivier Giroud with some competition. Arsenal have a huge transfer kitty available after only spending big to bring Mesut Ozil to the Emirates. An Ozil-Costa combination is mouth-watering for Gunners fans as the Spaniard would add much needed firepower to help keep Arsenal in the race for the title.
Their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also keeping tabs on the striker after seeing summer signing Roberto Soldado fail to make an impact at White Hart Lane. Sporting director Franco Baldini’s summer revelution at Spurs proved to be unsuccessful with Soldado only scoring two goals from open play, £30m man Erik Lamela make just three appearances and saw Andre Villas-Boas lose his job. Costa could prove to be the signing to cement Tim Sherwood’s Champions League intentions but the 25 year old will be unlikely to join the club if they miss out on the top four this season.
German side Borussia Dortmund are rumoured to make Diego Costa their ideal replacement for the departing Robert Lewandowski. Dortmund have struggled to match the might of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and see Costa as the perfect fit to replace the Polish striker. The Spaniard could be the right man to give Munich a run for their money in next year’s title race.
Many other big sides such as Manchester United and PSG have shown interest in the striker and the race for his signature will be one to watch in the summer…
By Marcus Banks
Follow me on Twitter – @MarcusBanks7