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Arsenal Turn Their Attention Towards Former Atletico Madrid Striker for a Stopgap Solution

With January coming to an end soon, Arsenal are desperate to sign a striker. Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, Arsenal’s first-choice, seems unwilling to join now and prefers to move in the summer. Therefore, the club wants a stopgap solution for the position and according to reports, the Gunners have contacted Diego Costa, who recently bid farewell to Atletico Mineiro.

Among the currently available forwards at Arsenal, only Alexandre Lacazette has shown some good form. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is sidelined, having returned from AFCON due to heart issues. Even before flying to Africa, Aubameyang was sidelined by Arteta due to some tensions between them.

Diego Costa
Image Obtained via Premier League

Although Arteta has confirmed Nketiah’s stay for the rest of the season, he is likely to have limited game time, as a backup striker. Also, Folarin Balogun moved to Middlesbrough on loan for the remainder of the season.

Arsenal’s first-choice striker Vlahovic has no intentions of extending his contract with Fiorentina. The Gunners tabled a bid of €70million (£58.5m) after the Italian club decided to sell him this January. However, the Serbian forward is not willing to change clubs in the middle of the season. He also has doubts about signing for a club that have not been in the Champions League for the last five years.

The Gunners also had other names on the list such as Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, but they would prefer to sign someone on a short-term basis and save money to sign Vlahovic in summer. Diego Costa certainly fits the bill.

The 33-year-old striker terminated his contract with Atletico Mineiro after spending just five months at the club. According to Goal Brasil (via Metro), Arsenal are considering the option of signing Diego Costa on a free transfer this month.

The report added that Costa has held ‘informal discussions’ with the North London club as they want to sign a forward. Aubameyang’s future is unclear after falling out with the manager and thus the club requires a striker immediately, at least for the rest of the season.

The Spanish international joined Atletico Mineiro last summer, after being a free agent since he mutually ended his contract with Atletico Madrid in January 2021. This was his second stint with Diego Simeone’s side, after spending four-and-a-half years with fellow London rivals Chelsea. Diego Costa took to Instagram to announce his departure from Atletico Mineiro. He wrote:

‘Today, officially, I say goodbye to Atletico.

‘I would like to thank all Massa Atleticana for all the support and affection I received from the first to the last day. Thank you so much for being part of my childhood dream of playing in Brazilian football and winning titles.

‘I would also like to express my gratitude to the entire technical staff, medical department, employees and especially to my teammates who helped me daily, always doing everything to make me feel comfortable.

‘The feeling that remains is gratitude to all of you Athleticans. Thank you and I wish you all the success in the world!!!’

Costa won the Brasileiro as well as the Copa do Brasil with Atletico Mineiro in 2021. The veteran forward scored 5 goals in 19 matches for Antonio Mohamed’s team. While at Chelsea, the forward acquired 58 goals and 24 assists in 120 games.

The Spanish striker had a fantastic record against the Gunners. He scored the decisive goal in the 2018 Europa League semi-final for Atletico Madrid, which resulted in Arsene Wenger going trophy-less in his final season at the Emirates.

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Arsenal are not the only club after his signature. Brazilian clubs Corinthians and Sao Paolo are also rumoured to be after the 33-year-old striker. But, Diego Costa is said to be in no hurry to decide his future club and is currently taking a break in Spain.

However, according to the latest report by Fabrizio Romano, Corinthians are pushing to sign the striker, having reached verbal agreements with the player. The Brazilian club have submitted the best proposal so far and the final decision rests on the player.

Follow AD for the Latest Arsenal Transfer Updates.

Abir Chaudhuri
A football fan who loves to write about the game.

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