Arsenal, according to reports, are keen on signing Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa. The Spain international wants to rip up his contract with the La Liga giants, who are happy to do so because of his big wages. And, should he move to the Emirates Stadium, it’s likely he’d get Arsene Wenger’s seal of approval.
Costa pushed to leave Chelsea for Atletico back in the January transfer window of 2018, with the Blues eventually granting him his wish.
However, the Spain international has struggled for consistency in the time since – with injury preventing him from kicking on.
Atletico would be happy to get Costa off the wage bill, particularly given Diego Simeone’s desire to reinforce his squad in the January transfer window.
And, now, a move back to England could be on the cards.
Spanish newspaper AS claim Arsenal are monitoring Costa’s situation over in Spain, with Mikel Arteta eager to land another attacker to help the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Should Arsenal firm up their interest, and sensationally bring the 32-year-old back to the Premier League, then it would likely get Wenger’s seal of approval.
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Speaking in 2016, at a time where Costa was shining for Chelsea, the Frenchman admitted he regretted not signing the striker when he had the chance.
“I like Costa as a player,” Wenger said.
“I like the qualities of the player. All the rest around is not needed.
“He’s a very strong player. He looks, since the start of the season, to have cleaned up his act, that he behaves more focused on the game. And that makes him more dangerous.”
Wenger shut down suggestions Costa would be even better if he curbed his temper, adding: “No, I don’t think so.
“You want full commitment from every single player. But commitment is different from these kind of over-reactions.
“He is a fighter and you respect that. The rest is down to the referees to get the game and the rules respected.
“He is similar to [Didier] Drogba because he’s a top-quality player. I cannot put it on Costa the fact that we got caught last year [at the Emirates].
“It was more the tandem – Fabregas, Costa – which was very dangerous for us. Fabregas found him quickly with his runs.
“In the first incident [last season, at Stamford Bridge], we were a bit guilty of reacting [to provocation]. But in the second, we were caught tactically. Mertesacker had only the opportunity to try to tackle. He got rightly sent off.”
Wenger then admitted that, had he been aware of Costa’s desire to leave Atletico in 2014, he’d have made a move.
“I never thought he would leave Atlético Madrid at the time, I was surprised,” said the Arsenal icon.
“Would I have made a harder play for him had I known? Yes. I like him, as a quality striker.”
For now, it appears Arsenal are merely keeping tabs on Costa’s situation.
But it’s easy to see the appeal of bringing the Atletico star back to England, despite his lack of goals this term.