Transfer news: Arsenal linked with £32m move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa

Premier League leaders ready to swoop for Atletico Madrid's free-scoring Brazilian forward after move for Dimitar Berbatov appears to break down

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Arsenal's ongoing attempts to rectify their striking crisis have taken another twist after it emerged that Arsene Wenger is reportedly on the verge of making a £32m move for Atletico Madrid's Brazilian superstar Diego Costa.

Despite leading the Premier League table for much of the season, the Gunners now find themselves in serious need of reinforcements after both Nicklas Bendtner and Olivier Giroud succumbed to recent injuries.

With Wenger already forced into admitting that Arsenal were looking for a 'special player' to compliment his dwindling striking options, the Frenchman now appears to be homing in on Costa.

After parting with £42m for Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil in the summer, the Daily Star report today that Arsenal officials have already made contact with the La Liga club to inform them that they intend to meet the Brazilian forward's £32m buy-out clause.

That would take the North London club's spending to well over the £70m mark after years of preaching financial pragmatism.

Costa had, according to reports, come close to a move to England six months ago after Liverpool failed with a £21m bid in the wake of Arsenal's £40,000,001 offer for Luis Suarez.

Since then the 24-year-old has soured to the summit of the Spanish goal scoring charts, netting on nineteen occasions in the league with a further four strikes in cup competitions.

It remains to be seen whether Costa, who moved to Atletico from Valladolid in 2010, would welcome a move to English shores after showing no intentions of forcing a move to Anfield last summer.

In the meantime, however, Wenger is faced with the reality of enlisting either Theo Walcott or Lucas Podolski into attack or starting 20-year-old Yaya Sanogo as a lone forward against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup this weekend.