Arsenal target ex-Chelsea star on free transfer

Arsenal are considering a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa on a free transfer, according to reports in Spain.

The 32-year-old has asked to terminate his contract with Atletico and wants to join a new club in the January transfer window.

Costa, who returned to Atletico from Chelsea in 2018, has started just two games in La Liga this season due to injury, while his current contract is in place until the end of the season.

According to AS, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Costa’s situation at Atletico as they are keen to recruit a new striker.

And the Gunners’ chances of securing a deal could be boosted as Atletico have measures in place to stop Costa from joining a rival side in La Liga.

Spanish radio station COPE report that Atletico have a clause in Costa’s contract which forces the striker to pay a €25 million (£22.7m) fine if he leaves to join either Barcelona, Real Madrid or Sevilla.

Costa would also be liable for a €5m (£4.5m) fine if he chooses to join another club who are still in the Champions League.

Costa is said to cite ‘personal reasons’ for his decision to leave Atletico but is also understood to want a greater guarantee of regular football at his next club.

Atletico, meanwhile, are reportedly targeting Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik as Costa’s replacement.

Costa would provide an experienced option for Arsenal having spent three seasons in the Premier League with Chelsea.

The Spain international scored 59 goals in 120 games for Chelsea and helped the club win two Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal are looking to bolster their firepower following a poor start to the Premier League campaign which has seen them register just 17 points from their first 15 matches.

Mikel Arteta’s side have struggled to create chances during games, while only Fulham, West Brom, Burnley and Sheffield United have scored fewer goals than the Gunners this term.

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