Arsenal are reportedly interested in a move for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa but all may not be what it seems.
When I first read the rumour that linked us with Diego Costa my initial thought was ‘sod off’.
My second was ‘I wonder who his agent is,’ expecting to find Kia or some Brazilian connection.
I wasn’t far wrong.
Mendes counts among his players Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Fabinho, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, James Rodriguez, Nelson Semedo, Angel di Maria, Ricardo Pereira, Matt Doherty, Calos Vinicius, Rui Patricio and a host of others, none of whom are at Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea.
In fact, while he represents four Manchester City players, and two from Liverpool and Spurs, Mendes has SEVEN players at Wolves (and another at Everton as well as one at Fulham, Aston Villa, and West Ham).
Mendes is Portuguese, a country with strong ties to Brazil, which connects with Edu at the top of the Arsenal football pyramid.
Are Arsenal actually interested in Diego Costa?
I hope not and I don’t see why they would be.
Atletico apparently wanted to sell in January, after being told they have to by Costa who wants out of his remaining months (no reason is given) but not to a rival, either domestically or in the Champions League. That point is moot now after he was released on Monday.
That still doesn’t explain why would Arsenal want to sign him.
We are likely going to move Alexandre Lacazette on in one of the next few windows, but replacing him with a 32-year-old that every Arsenal fan hates hardly seems like a stellar move on the part of the club, especially not when you consider they look like they will let Folarin Balogun walk out the door for nothing, a move they will come to regret more than Serge Gnabry, should it happen.
Costa has two goals in 204 minutes of football this season across seven games, missing a large chunk of it with muscular injuries.
He thinks he has a couple of seasons left at the top level and Arsenal are seen, according to the Daily Mail at least, ‘as offering a ‘favourable situation’ for Costa and Atletico as they look to work out a potential deal for him to leave his contract six months early.’
Last season, Costa, who is valued at around £9m, scored five and assisted five in 30 games (1,808 minutes). He missed 16 games with a herniated disc.
In fact, since leaving Chelsea two years ago, Costa has suffered from concussion (1 game missed), muscular problems six times (15 games), an ankle problem (1 game), two hamstring issues (5 games), a groin problem (2 games), surgery for a foot issue (14 games), and an undefined leg injury (6 games).
To make matters worse, you can clearly see an increase in his fitness problems. Costa only missed a total of 14 games over four years with Chelsea but has already sat out 59 games in three years back in Spain.
So, to recap, Costa is old, he’s picking up a lot of injuries, he’s a player Arsenal fans hate, and his arrival could help usher out a generational talent from the club.
Given all that, and Arsenal’s appalling business in the transfer window of late, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we offered Atletico £15m for him as Mendes, and his client, eye up one final payday for the forward alongside Willian.
Now he’s available for free, it’s even more frightening.