Costa’s contract expires in June 2021, but the report states that Atlético will sit down with the 32-year-old and hear him out, given his status as an important player and dressing room personality over the past decade. Marca corroborated this reporting late Sunday night.
AS adds that should Costa secure his exit from Atleti, he will be considered one of the upcoming transfer window‘s top prizes and will have many offers from which to choose. Such offers may include those from China, or from clubs in his native Brazil.
Perhaps not coincidentally, AS’ Italian correspondent Mirko Calemme has claimed Atlético are in pole position to land Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik — whose contract also expires next summer.
Costa has been one of Atlético’s highest earners since his return to the club three years ago. Though his second stint as a rojiblanco has had its highlights, the past three seasons have seen the former Spain international decline steeply as injuries limited him severely.
Costa has made just seven appearances this season, all in LaLiga, and he most recently battled a deep vein thrombosis in his right leg. He’s scored two goals in 207 minutes — one on opening day versus Granada, the other a well-taken penalty against Elche on Dec. 19.
Atleti will have to sign a replacement in January should Costa leave, and Milik has been a target for several years, so the time to sign him would be now. The team cannot fight for LaLiga, let alone other titles, with Luis Suárez as the sole center forward. Though the Uruguayan is averaging nearly one goal every 90 minutes in the league, he’s 33 going on 34 and needs capable competition.