Arsenal and Tottenham have been put on red alert after Atletico Madrid confirmed the termination of Diego Costa’s contract.
Costa, 32, has been with the capital outfit since September 2017. The striker had another six months left to run on his deal but has now departed.
Atletico said in a statement on their official website: “Atletico de Madrid and Diego Costa have reached an agreement for the termination of the striker’s contract, which was to end on June 30, 2021.
“The striker asked to leave the club for personal reasons a few days ago and on Tuesday signed the termination of his contract.
“The club thanks Diego Costa for his dedication during these years and wishes him well in the next stage of his professional career.”
He was first on Los Rojiblancos’ books between 2007 and 2008 but failed to make an appearance. After spells at clubs such as Braga, Celta Vigo and Valladolid, he returned to Wanda Metropolitano in 2010.
The Spain international was sent to Rayo Vallecano for the second half of the 2011-2012 campaign. He bagged 10 goals from 16 La Liga outings and was back in favour with Atletico the following campaign.
Having scored 27 goals from 35 outings, Chelsea came calling and he spent three productive but controversial years at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian-born hitman returned to Atletico in September 2017 but has struggled to hit the heights. Fitness issues have hampered his progress and he leaves having scored just 19 times in 81 appearances in all competitions.
North London the next destination?
Tottenham were linked with the combative forward earlier this year and his route back to England has now been made easier. Jose Mourinho initially took Costa to Chelsea in 2014, and according to Don Balon, the Spurs chief is still keen.
Arsenal may also throw their hat into the ring. Costa is a proven goal scorer when fit and that is something the Gunners have lacked this term.
They are in need of a spark and the much-travelled striker could provide that in spades. It will always be a risk signing someone of his temperament but the benefits would outweigh the negatives for a struggling side.
Costa will not be short of suitors, with many clubs thought to be interested in the free agent.
READ MORE: Arsenal linked with Sevilla star