This season’s January transfer window has now officially opened and provides sides with an opportunity to strengthen their options, the rumour mill now in full swing ahead of the winter window.
One name in the headlines at present is former Chelsea forward Diego Costa, who shapes as one of the most interesting stories of the window having cancelled his contract at Atletico Madrid.
Costa starred during three seasons in the Premier League and despite turning 32 earlier this year is likely to appeal to any side seeking a cost-efficient way of adding firepower to their squad.
Trying to figure out at what club a top player will end up at can often be like playing a quality strategy game, so we’ve decided to look at the five current favourites to sign Diego Costa:
Arsenal – 8/1
Arsenal have struggled for goals this season and have been ranked as 8/1 outsiders to secure the Spain international’s signing, with Mikel Arteta’s goal-shy side having netted just 16 times in 16 league fixtures during the current campaign.
The north London side are all too aware of Costa’s capabilities with the forward having often been the pantomime villain during clashes between the Gunners and Chelsea, and his arrival at the Emirates would likely be greeted by a luke-warm reception.
Alexandre Lacazette currently leads the club’s goalscoring charts with seven in all competitions, and the signing of the robust Costa would at least offer the Gunners a differing option in attack.
Costa scored a hugely impressive 52 goals in 89 league appearances during his time at Stamford Bridge, though has failed to score more than five times in a league season since leaving English football three years ago.
Everton – 7/1
Everton are priced slightly shorter than Arsenal and are 7/1 odds to bring Costa back to the Premier League, with the experienced star perhaps offering Carlo Ancelotti a dependable deputy to the impressive Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Calvert-Lewin has enjoyed a brilliant start to the campaign and trails only Mohamed Salah in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, scoring 11 league goals in 15 league appearances so far this season.
Everton’s second-highest scorer is summer signing James Rodriguez on just three goals and their reliance on Calvert-Lewin could lead to a move for Costa, a significant upgrade on current back-up Cenk Tosun and potential partner for the England international.
Everton have previously been linked with the 32-year-old and Costa could represent a shrewd addition to a side with ambitions of securing continental football this season.
Any Chinese club – 6/1
Could Costa be tempted by one final big pay-day in China?
The Chinese Super League is becoming popular with those interested in soccer betting and has invested heavily in new recruits in recent years as they bid to grow the game in the Far East, with the likes of Marek Hamsik, Marko Arnautovic and Costa’s former Chelsea teammate Oscar amongst the notable names currently plying their trade in the division.
Costa came close to moving to China from Chelsea in 2017 before a mega-money deal with Tianjin Quanjian broke down, and there are plenty of Chinese clubs capable of providing a financial package to entice the free-agent forward.
Any Brazilian club – 5/1
Costa’s termination of his Atletico Madrid contract came six months early with the star citing ‘personal reasons’, opening up the opportunity of a potential return to Brazil for the in-demand star.
Costa was born in Brazil and won two senior caps for the national side before changing his allegiances to Spain, and the prospect of a return to his birth-country must appeal for a player who departed for Europe as a teenager.
The forward is a known supporter of Palmeiras and it remains to be seen whether there is South American interest in his services, Costa representing a significant coup for any Brazilian side who can finance a deal.
Wolves – 6/5
Wolves are the favourites to secure the signing of Costa with the forward offering a fine solution to their current lack of attacking options, Raul Jimenez expected to spend a prolonged period on the sidelines after sustaining a fractured skull against Arsenal in November.
Jimenez’s absence is a major blow to Nuno Espirito Santo’s side with the Mexican international having been a talismanic figure for the club since arriving at Molineux, Wolves having lacked a focal point in attack in recent weeks.
Nuno has opted for the more fleet-footed talents of Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto, though neither are recognised forwards and summer signing Fabio Silva is just 18-years-old and still adapting to a new league and country.
Costa would represent a fine short-term addition to spearhead a Wolves side who will be harbouring ambitions of securing European football in a tightly-contested league this season, whilst the player’s representative, Jorge Mendes, has strong links to the Midlands outfit.