Diego Costa: Why Clubs should stay away from the out of contract striker

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Diego Costa is one of the hottest strikers available in the transfer market without a contract since Atletico Madrid terminated his contract in December 2020.

The 32-year-old Spanish center-forward was not expected to leave Atletico Madrid especially this season where the club is on the verge of winning the La Liga title and the club is still very active in the Champions League. With a fair possibility to win titles with Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa decided to terminate his contract and the club agreed to it.

Though the reason why Diego Costa made the decision was not known, it was said that the striker wanted a new challenge after making just 7 league appearances for Atletico Madrid and scoring two league goals this season.

The Spanish footballer has been associated with Atletico Madrid since January 2007 after a €1.50 million move from a Portuguese side, FC Braga, to the Spanish side. Since then, he has gone on loan to a couple of clubs before he settled down at the club in 2012.

Two years later, he agreed on a move to Chelsea for €38 million where he made 120 appearances, scoring 58 goals and providing 24 assists between 2014 and 2017. During the three years at Chelsea, some players and coaches of opposing teams always complained about his poor antics.

His controversial approach to games earned him a couple of punishments from the English FA. Things got worse for him when his form dropped in his second season at Chelsea.

Diego Costa who used to be one of the most loved players at Stamford Bridge became the most criticized player due to his antics off and on the field to the extent, a French newspaper L’Equipe named him the most hated footballer in December 2015.

His antics and poor form forced the then coach of Chelsea, Antonio Conte to give him the go-ahead to look for another club via text message ahead of the 2017-2018 season. Diego Costa insisted that he wanted to return to Atletico Madrid and alleged that Chelsea treated him like a criminal for asking for a high transfer fee from Madrid.

Diego Costa with a Premier League medal while at Chelsea.
Diego Costa with a Premier League medal while at Chelsea.

After a couple of back and forth, Costa finally returned to Atletico Madrid on January 1, 2018, for €60 million and was an important part of the Spanish club until he decided to exit the club ahead of the 2021 January transfer window.

Diego Costa is a ‘dangerous fit’

Since Diego Costa exited Atletico Madrid, Premier League club, Wolves are said to be interested in his services. The coach of the club, Nuno Espirito Santo, had said his priority is to sign a striker in the January transfer window to replace injured Raul Jimenez and Costa is top on his list.

According to reports, Wolves have already made inquiries about Costa’s wages at Atletico which is said to be £270,000-a-week. But Chelsea legend Tony Cascarino has warned Wolves to stay away from Costa who he described as a “dangerous fit”.

“I think it’s a very dangerous fit if I’m honest”, Tony Cascarino told TalkSport.

“Because of the experience, he had at Chelsea and the way he wanted to leave the club, the way he disappeared.

“Obviously it then turned sour at Atletico and he became a real problem, he played relatively little football this year, he’s only played seven games and got a couple of goals.

“I don’t know if I could trust him, or trust what he’s going to be like if he came to the football club.

“If I was getting the Diego Costa who turned up at Chelsea, followed Didier [Drogba], was a real handful – great! The fans loved him at Chelsea, you’d hear his name all around the stadium, he was their favorite player.

“But the way he handled it, I would be very suspicious of a 32-year-old whose contract has been ripped up.

“You could argue that Eric Cantona left Leeds United in a very sour way, and Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson got an unbelievable player who played his best football… but I’m not sure Diego Costa has that same mentality.

“It’s the kind of high-risk move that if it comes off you’re a genius, but if it falls flat you’re an idiot for taking him.

“Nuno would have to handle a very difficult player.

“If Diego Simone felt Costa still could have done a job for Atletico Madrid, he would have been desperate to keep him. But Atletico are still in the Champions League and they have a chance to win the LaLiga title, Costa wants to rip up his contract and the club has agreed.

“That rings alarm bells, for me.”

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