Wolves are reportedly set to offer Diego Costa a chance to return to the Premier League after his mid-season departure from Atletico Madrid.
The 32-year-old returned to Wanda Metropolitano for a second spell in January 2018. He left Chelsea in September 2017 but had to wait until the new year to play due to Atletico’s transfer ban. Having shone with the LaLiga giants in a previous three-year stint, much was expected of the Spain international.
But a series of frustrating injuries hampered his progress and he was never able to reach his previous level. The Brazilian-born ace scored 19 goals from 81 appearances in all competitions.
Having made just two league starts in 2020-2021, his contract was terminated by mutual consent in January. Many clubs were immediately linked, with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille thought to be keen.
However, they did not pursue a deal and he has remained without a club for the past six months. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano suggested back in January that Costa was waiting for a call from Premier League clubs.
And UOL Esporte (via sportslens) are reporting that he will soon be granted his wish. New Wanderers boss Bruno Lage is said to have given his blessing to the move.
The one stumbling block may be his wages, with talks thought to be ongoing about his financial demands.
Costa worth the baggage
Costa’s first spell in English football saw the best and worst of the player during three years at Stamford Bridge. The former Valladolid hitman found the net 59 times from 120 outings in all competitions.
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He left with two Premier League winner’s medals while also lifting the EFL Cup. But his time in England was marred by controversial on-pitch incidents.
He clashed with then Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and received a three-match ban for two stamping incidents. Opposition defenders recognised his short fuse and sought to wind him up during matches.
He appeared to take the bait more often than not and was generally unpopular with fans outside west London. But there is no doubting his ability when on form.
He may not be the same player but he would certainly be a presence up front for the West Midlanders. Raul Jimenez is set to return while Fabio Silva impressed towards the end of last season.
But neither can provide the physicality that Costa possesses who would provide the manager with different options in attack. His history of injuries means it would be a gamble but, with no transfer fee involved, could be one worth taking.
He was reportedly on a monstrous salary of €16m per year in Madrid and would need to lower his expectations at Molineux.