Diego Costa picks next club as Arsenal learn chances of signing former Chelsea man

Diego Costa during an Atletico Mineiro match

Arsenal’s reported interest in bringing Diego Costa back to the Premier League has quickly been extinguished after the striker’s preferred next club was announced.

The 33-year-old former Chelsea frontman had a successful five-month stint with the Belo Horizonte club, winning the Brasileiro (top flight) and also the Copa do Brasil in his time with them.

Costa initially signed a contract until December 2022, following the termination of his deal at Atletico Madrid.

However, reports in the last week have linked Costa with a surprise return to Europe and a short-term deal at Arsenal.

The Gunners are looking to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month. Furthermore, the contracts of Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette also expire in a matter of months.

And while Lacazette may extend his stay, Costa was reportedly being considered as a short-term recruit.

Those chances appeared to grow on Monday when the feisty attacker has announced his exit in an emotional goodbye message.

“Today, officially, I say goodbye to Atletico,” he wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank all Massa Atleticana for all the support and affection I received from the first to the last day.

“Thank you so much for being part of my childhood dream of playing in Brazilian football and winning titles.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the entire technical staff, medical department, employees and especially to my teammates who helped me daily, always doing everything to make me feel comfortable.

“The feeling that remains is gratitude to all of you Athleticans. Thank you and I wish you all the success in the world!!!”

Diego Costa links to Arsenal dissolve

However, reports linking with him the Gunners have quickly evaporated amid claims he wants to stay in Brazil.

And as per The Sun, Costa has set his sights on a move to Corinthians. The Sao Paulo based side recently welcomed his former Chelsea teammate Willian – and a reunion now looks on the cards.

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Furthermore, the Evening Standard are also ruling Mikel Arteta’s side out of the running.

That said, the Brazilian still carries something of a goal threat after netting four times in 15 appearances for Mineiro.

He also boasted a fearsome record against the Gunners while a Chelsea player. Indeed, in six appearances against them, Costa scored six times and claimed five wins.

He left Stamford Bridge in summer 2017, having scored 59 goals in 120 appearances.

Gunners sweating on Dusan Vlahovic deal

The Gunners, of course, have made Fiorentina hot-shot Dusan Vlahovic their priority centre forward signing.

Arsenal are in fact reportedly willing to pay a package worth £150million to sign the striker.

And following extensive talks, reports on Saturday reported that a begrudging Fiorentina have ‘reluctantly accepted his sale’.

Indeed, that report claims the Gunners are willing to meet La Viola’s £58m asking price.

However, there remains doubts whether the Serie A side would prefer to wait until the summer.

Furthermore, Arsenal are still locked in talks over how to pay off his sizeable transfer fee.

The Gunners would like to pay that off over the period of five years. Fiorentina, by contrast, want a large percentage of the fee up front.

Meanwhile, one observer reckons the move is being blocked by the presence of a problematic Gunners star.