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La Liga goal-machine the latest blip on Arsenal’s striker-seeking radar

| 18.12.2013

With Olivier Giroud running on empty, Arsenal are fast approaching defcon four in their need of a second top quality striker and Atletico Madrid goal-fiend Diego Costa is the man Arsene Wenger has identified to ease the workload of his first-choice forward.

A heavy defeat at Manchester City has called the Gunners’ title credentials into serious question, with the north Londoners’ odds to claim a first Premier League title since 2004 drifting to 7/2 following a 6-3 massacring at the Etihad.

That game saw Giroud spurn some good opportunities, a sight which is growing increasingly frequent as fatigue creeps up on the Frenchman.

With deep pockets brimming with dough, Wenger is expected to wade into the January transfer market to bring in a top striker and, with 17 goals in just 15 La Liga starts, they are a few across the globe currently more deadly than Costa.

Around £32m would be enough to activate the Brazilian-born Spaniard’s release clause, but this would be quite the bargain price assuming he could replicate his La Liga exploits in England’s top flight.

Atleti would obviously be determined to keep hold of their prize asset, but it’s highly unlikely they could compete with Arsenal in terms of wages, as well as trophy-winning potential.

It’s been an aeon since Wenger’s charges last hoisted a top prize, whereas Madrid’s second-most prestigious side celebrated a Spanish cup triumph just last term, but realistically, they’re always going to be a long way behind Barcelona and city rivals Real in the race to land domestic and continental silverware. Arsenal, on the other hand, have the finances to compete that Costa’s current employers lack.

Physically strong as well as technically proficient, Costa is the ideal lone striker to spearhead the Gunners’ 4-2-3-1 set up. He links up play as well as Giroud, but is a far more lethal finisher and sealing such a sensational deal would hold untold benefits for their dwindling title prospects.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Middleton