Diego Costa released by Atletico Madrid as Arsenal hover

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 3 min read
Diego Costa released by Atletico Madrid as Arsenal hover

Diego Costa has been released by Atletico Madrid, the Spanish side have confirmed, with Arsenal touted as a future destination for the striker.

Rumours had circulated that the 32-year-old centre forward had grown unsettled at the club and would seek to leave in January.

He has endured a frustrating start to the season, punctuated by injury and falling to second choice in his preferred role behind Luis Suarez, who arrived from Barcelona in the summer.

Diego Costa’s departure was confirmed by the Wanda Metropolitano side on Tuesday.

A statement from the club reads: “Atletico de Madrid and Diego Costa have reached an agreement for the termination of the forward’s contract, which was due to end on June 30, 2021. The Spanish-Brazilian player asked the club for his dismissal for personal reasons a few days ago and signed the termination of his contract on Tuesday.

“Since he arrived at the club in 2006 at just 17 years old, the forward has played 215 official matches in two spells, scoring 83 goals and distributing 36 assists. During his stay at Atletico de Madrid, he won La Liga (2013-14), a Copa del Rey (2013), a Europa League (2018) and two European Super Cups (2010 and 2018).

“The club thanks him for his dedication during these years and we wish him good luck in the next stage of his professional career.”

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  • Diego Costa to Arsenal?

    Diego Costa has not made it clear what he intends to do now that he is a free agent. It is, however, apparent that he has a number of options for his next move.

    Perhaps the most prestigious of these is a move back to the Premier League. An ex-Chelsea striker, he is being linked with a move to Arsenal by Spanish media.

    With the Gunners struggling in front of goal, it would be little surprise to see them look for an additional option to bolster their attack. However, their priority is likely to focus on a creator rather than a scorer.

    Additionally, he is understood to have offers from China and Brazil, the country in which he was born.

    Diego Costa’s career has been an impressive one, spent exclusively in Europe since he joined Braga from Barcelona EC in 2006.

    Less than a year later, he joined Atletico Madrid, and after a number of loan spells he made his breakthrough with Valladolid.

    Atleti, though, retained a buy-back option in his contract and in 2012 he exploded onto the big stage by scoring 20 times of Los Colchoneros.

    A three-year spell in England with Chelsea further underlined his quality, but since moving back to Madrid in 2017 he has failed to rediscover his best form.