Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Transfer season is alive and kicking on the front page of Spanish daily Marca on Tuesday as Atletico Madrid, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Chelsea are all clubbed together into one article concerning a potential striker merry-go-round.
For several weeks now Arsenal and Chelsea have been talked up in the press at targeting Diego Costa. Costa, Atletico and La Liga’s top scorer this season with an incredible 19 goals in 17 games (one more than Cristiano Ronaldo), wouldn’t come cheap, however the narrative being built up in the press is that the striker is for sale.
It goes without saying that the Diego-for-sale storyline makes for good newspapers headlines.
Costa recently renewed his deal at Vicente Calderon, agreeing to stay at Atletico until 2018, however it is understood a fresh buy-out clause of €38 million was inserted in the deal. Should Arsenal or Chelsea table that cash, the deal could well happen.
According to Marca, should Costa leave the Rojiblancos, then Atleti’s number one replacement target is Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke.
Benteke was on the club’s shopping list when they lost Radamel Falcao to Monaco last summer, but the deal couldn’t be done then. Marca now suggest that if Atleti get €38 million for Costa, the club would consider laying out a little less than €30 million needed to prise the Belgian away from Villa Park.
Benteke, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury until the new year, has seen his stock fall slightly in recent months after a blistering campaign in 2012-13.
So far this season the Belgian has only scored four goals in 14 games for Villa. Last season the powerful striker bagged 19 league goals in 34 games.
The front page of Marca on Tuesday is below.