Arsenal + Chelsea Dealt Blow In Pursuit Of £32m Hitman

By on February 26, 2014

The January transfer window may have slammed shut but clubs will still be working hard behind the scenes at identifying targets for the summer, so we’ll bring you all the latest news, gossip and rumours. Today, Diego Costa has been tipped to stay in Spain.

Diego-Costa-Atletico Madrid

Arsenal and Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Diego Costa with Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo insisting the striker will snub a move away to remain in Spain, according to the Mirror.

Costa has become one of Europe’s most wanted hitmen after a stunning season with Atletico that’s seen him score 27 goals in just 36 appearances so far this campaign.

His goals have helped Diego Simone’s side keep pace with Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table as well as fire the club on the verge of qualification to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Understandably, his impressive form has attracted interest from across Europe with Arsenal and Chelsea strongly linked with trying to lure the 25-year-old to England this summer, while there has also been the suggestion that Jose Mourinho could use on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as bait to land the Brazilian-born striker.

However, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo insists the club are not interested in letting Costa leave and he feels the player will snub any interest from abroad to remain in Spain as it will help him push to become a regular in Vicente Del Bosque’s Spanish squad.

“I do not think Diego Costa is going to leave Atletico at the end of the coming year,”

“Undoubtedly, we do not want to sell him or use him as a bargaining chip for another player.

“You can appreciate this because we never sell but other teams come for our players.

“Diego wants to play for the Spanish national team and it has been an important decision [for him].

“He likes Spain, he lives here and he considers it a better option to be part of the current world champions, so if he does play he will do great.

“I trust the Spanish team will gain a lot with his inclusion.” Cerezo is quoted as saying by the Mirror.

It remains to be seen whether Cerezo’s claim proves accurate but what’s interesting is that the Atletico supremo makes no reference to the supposed £32m release clause in the strikers contract. It’s been widely reported that Costa could leave the Vicente Calderon if a club meets that buy-out fee, which would leave Atletico helpless in trying to keep him if the player chose to leave.

So although the fact Cerezo feels Costa wants to stay at the club comes as a blow to Arsenal and Chelsea, the London duo could still get their hands on the prolific striker if this release clause actually exists and they can persuade the player to move to the Premier League.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea could certainly do with reinforcements up front and there’s little doubt Costa would prove to be a popular addition with both sets of fans, and I’m sure there will continue to be plenty of speculation over the players future over the coming months despite Cerezo’s recent comments.

READ MORE –> Arsenal transfer news | Chelsea transfer news

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