Arsenal explain Diego Costa stance as January transfer window opens

Diego Costa ‘fake coughs’ as he passes reporters at Anfield

Arsenal have insisted they’re not going to pursue a deal for Diego Costa, according to reports. Mikel Arteta has been linked with the Spain international in the wake of his release from Atletico Madrid. Yet it appears a move to the Emirates Stadium won’t be taking place in the New Year.

Costa’s Atletico exit was confirmed by the club on Wednesday, with the La Liga giants saying in a statement: “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 wishes the striker the best of luck in the next stage of his professional career.”

Diego Simeone then added: “He gave us a lot and we gave him a lot. He needs a new challenge.

“I’m sure that wherever he goes he’ll do well because he’s a fighter.”

In the time since, Arsenal have emerged as potential suitors.

The Gunners are looking to improve their squad in the New Year, especially with frontline trio Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all struggling for consistency.

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But The Times say Arsenal have told them they won’t be pursuing the Spain international.

However, they are interested in his compatriot Isco – who looks likely to leave Real Madrid on loan having struggled for minutes under Zinedine Zidane this season.

Arteta was coy when quizzed on potential transfer business ahead of his side’s upcoming Premier League clash with West Brom on Wednesday, saying: “We need to be careful with that.

“But obviously financially, it’s not only only us, it’s every club in the Premier League who has been hit with big numbers.

“We know that this is not going to change from the last year or so and we are going to have to add some of how we want to improve the team in different ways financially.

“We will decide whether it’s a loan or buying players in relation to the opportunity that we have in the market.”

Asked about plans for the window, the Arsenal manager said: “Well, we have a large squad, we knew that and a lot of things we wanted to do in the summer, we couldn’t accomplish for different reasons.

“There are some players that are going to go on loan, they are going to leave, and that’s the priority at the moment.

“We cannot sustain the numbers that we have in terms of substitutions. We are looking to do that and then we will see if we have the right opportunities in the positions that we need some more help.

“We are working with the club to find that.”

Meanwhile, regarding Costa, former Tottenham striker Darren Bent thinks he should move to Wolves.

“Any of the top six potentially should now go for him especially now that his contract is ripped up so you have not go to pay any money for him,” Bent told talkSPORT.

“To have him, someone like that with Premier League experience in the building, still in good shape, can score goals. I’d bring him in, in a heartbeat.

“Spurs would take him, Wolves, even someone like Everton just on the off chance that something happens to Calvert-Lewin. He has still got something.

“You look at Spurs with Bale, he has not played for 18 months, nearly two years, so it’s the same kind of thing – they are paying a lot more money for him than you would have to pay for Diego Costa.”

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