Arsenal are interested in signing Diego Costa on a free transfer, according to Spanish media outlet AS.
The Atletico Madrid striker has six months remaining on his deal but has requested the club to terminate his contract with immediate effect so that he can take care of some family problems. He was absent from the Spanish club’s training session on Monday as he looks increasingly certain to leave the club in January.
In January, Costa would be free to speak with clubs regarding a free transfer in the summer if Atletico refused to cancel his contract. The club are aware of this and are open to letting him leave the club next month as long as he does not join a direct rival. It would also allow them to get his wages off their books and look to sign a new striker. They were linked with Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik in the summer and could look to make a move for the player.
The Gunners have reportedly been keeping tabs on Costa’s situation in Madrid. They would be open to signing him on a free transfer to bolster their options in attack despite having the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette in their squad. Mikel Arteta’s side have scored just 15 goals in 15 Premier League games this season. Costa tormented the North London side during his stint at Chelsea and having him on their side this time around could prove to be tempting.
The former Chelsea striker is keen on staying in Europe and believes he has two or three years left at the very top. The Gunners are a massive club and would appeal to Costa while the fact that they play in the Europa League means that they are not one of Atletico’s direct rivals.
The 32-year-old spent three years at Chelsea and so is familiar with London. He was happy during his time there and only left because Antonio Conte, Chelsea’s head coach at the time, made it clear that he was not a part of his plans. The North London side will be prepared to make a move for Costa if he is a free agent next month but the player is likely to have a number of options to consider.
It must be said that Costa represents another player who will command high wages and seems to be past his best. This season, he has scored two goals in seven La Liga games. Last season, he scored five goals and provided five assists in 30 appearances across all competitions.
This is the kind of signing the Gunners should avoid making because it could stifle the growth of young players like Martinelli, Nketiah and Balogun. There is certainly the chance that this signing could go on to be a success but giving out long-term deals to players who are past their prime can hurt the club and delay or even derail the project.
Source: English Premier League – Sportslens.com