Liverpool have made a £21 million bid for Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian striker Diego Costa, which will trigger a release clause in the player’s contract with the Spanish club allowing him to discuss terms with the reds. Costa, 24, has two caps for the Brazil national team, having made his debut as a substitute against Italy in March this year. He grew up playing street football in Brazil before moving to Europe at the age of seventeen where he joined Sporting Clube de Braga in Portugal and was swiftly sent out on loan to gain experience at second division Penafiel. He impressed there and was snapped up by Atletico Madrid, who immediately loaned him back to Braga and then to Celta Vigo and Albacete in subsequent seasons, where he started to build a reputation in Spain‘s second level. His career continued in an upward trajectory when he was sold to Valladolid at the start of the 2009-10 season and enjoyed first team football in the Primera Division, doing enough to convince Atletico to exercise their buy-back option on him at the end of the season. Since then he has gone on to play eighty three times for Atletico in all competitions, scoring twenty eight goals, either side of a loan spell at Rayo Vallecano, for whom he scored nine goals in sixteen appearances. The highlight of his club career to date was scoring in Atletico Madrid’s historic Copa del Rey final win over rivals Real Madrid at the end of last season.
It is thought that Liverpool are interested in signing Costa to bolster their attacking options, rather than to replace Luis Suarez, who is contemplating a move away from the club. A couple of high profile signings like Costa might convince Suarez of the club’s ambition and convince him to pledge his immediate future to Liverpool, and signing more top strikers will relieve Suarez from some of the burden of pressure to provide goals that fell so heavily on his shoulders last season. Meanwhile, Suarez has been receiving conflicting advice from all quarters about whether or not to stay with the club. Yesterday, former Liverpool Chief Executive Rick Parry was reported as saying that he should be allowed to leave as it’s counter productive to keep a player who wants to leave at a club, but today former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has said that he thinks Suarez should stay at Anfield. Arsenal are the only club to have made an offer for Suarez, but Wright told the BBC “if I was Suarez, when you look at everything, it does seem strange he would want to go to Arsenal. I would give Liverpool another season … if you look at Arsenal, not won anything in eight years, just challenging for fourth place, not really any players there who will make him say ‘I’m going to play with him and him’.