If there is anyone who believes larger-than-life characters in football are a dying breed, point them in the direction of Diego Costa.
The 32-year-old wouldn’t look out of place as a Hollywood villain, with his bullish style of play, furrowed brow and simmering temper.
Simply put, Costa defines what it is to be a fooballing b**tard, and with he striker now set to leave Atletico Madrid after requesting to terminate his contract he’s also a hot commodity this January.
Make no mistake, Costa is a very talented front man and still has plenty to offer in the way of goals, experience and even more wild moments on the pitch. Here’s six clubs who could do with his unique services.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are severely lacking some sting in their attack following Raul Jimenez’s head injury.
Fabio Silva cannot be expected to fire Wolves to glory on his own at barely 18 years old, thus an experienced head in Costa would plug the gap perfectly. He’s Premier League proven, raring to go and would add some much-needed aggression up top.
Silva would no doubt improve spending time behind the scenes with Costa and Jimenez, too.
Pep Guardiola has already conceded that City are unlikely to bring in a striker in January, but with Costa now available for little to no fee, it’s a no brainer. Snap him up.
It’s a short-term fix and doesn’t do much in the way of answering the ‘life after Aguero’ conundrum, but it gives them another dimension of play and an actual striker to aim at.
This one makes sense for literally everybody involved.
Costa gets an inevitable move to the MLS where he’ll rip it up in the big apple. And in the off season, he can secure a sneaky loan to Manchester City to ease their striker problems without it costing them anything.
Think Frank Lampard circa 2014/15…but with more red cards.
Jose Mourinho enjoyed a decent relationship with Diego Costa when the pair were at Chelsea (for the most part), and the chance for two of football’s biggest characters to join together once more be blockbuster stuff.
Tottenham are still lacking that final cutting edge to truly challenge for the Premier League, but bringing in Costa and getting him firing might just be the change of pace they need in the squad to kick on.
Adding a 32-year-old Diego Costa to an attacking roster which already boasts a 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t sound incredibly wise, but a short-term deal could benefit the Old Lady.
Regarding out-and-out strikers, Alvaro Morata has it all to do for Juventus. Signing Costa would give them rotation and allow Andrea Pirlo to be a bit more tactically flexible.
On the surface, Inter‘s attacking options Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez sounds sufficient. Look beyond the surface, however, and there isn’t much in the way of a plan-B for Antonio Conte.
Alexis Sanchez is riddled with injuries and Andrea Pinamonti looks as good as done with the club, thus there’s nobody to rotate with or provide competition. And with Inter tangled in a race for the Scudetto with Milan, bringing in Costa wouldn’t be a bad option considering his traits and CV.
What’s an ex-Premier League winner’s undecided future without a potential move to Istanbul Basaksehir?
The chance to go to Turkey and link up with the defending champions sounds ideal on the surface, although the fact that they’re no longer in Europe and are instead languishing in the mid-table in the Turkish Super Lig probably rules this out.
Money talks, though, so who knows.