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Atletico Madrid: Diego Costa targeted by AC Milan

Atletico Madrid: Diego Costa targeted by AC Milan

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is reportedly a transfer target for AC Milan, with the Serie A club looking to add experience to their squad.

Calciomercato reported [via sempremilan.com] that the Rossoneri view the 31-year-old Spain international as the striker they need to strengthen their attacking options.

According to Calciomercato [via sempremilan.com], Atletico value Costa at €20m (£17.3m), with the player currently contracted to the Wanda Metropolitano outfit until 2021.

Costa may have scored 64 goals in 134 games (0.48 per game) in his first spell at Atletico, but he has been nowhere near as prolific since returning from Chelsea in 2017, with just 13 goals in 52 appearances (0.25 per game) in that time. [via TransferMarkt]

This season he has managed a solitary goal from eight appearances so far, while in 2018/19 he scored only three times in 20 La Liga and Champions League games. [via TransferMarkt]

His struggles in front of goal are indicative of the team as a whole, with Atletico scoring just 11 times in their first 10 games this term and drawing blanks in three of their last five matches.

Fellow centre-forward Alvaro Morata has also scored just once this season, but he has played just 373 minutes to Costa’s 686 – defensive midfielder Thomas Partey has as many goals in 604 minutes as the two Spanish strikers have in 1,059 minutes combined. [via TransferMarkt]

Costa’s rate of 1.5 shots per game is lower than that of Morata (1.8) and Joao Felix (two), while even his impressive average of 4.2 successful aerial duels per game is eclipsed by Morata’s 4.6. [via WhoScored]

The 31-year-old has actually had more yellow cards (18) than goals (13) since returning to Atletico two years ago, an alarming disciplinary rap sheet not helped by the eight-match ban he collected for abusing referee Jesus Gil Manzano against Barcelona last April, as reported by BBC.

The biggest case that can be made for keeping Costa is the dearth of senior centre-forwards at the club and all-round lack of goal threat in Diego Simeone’s squad – Felix is their leading scorer with three goals in 10 matches.

At 31, with a chequered disciplinary record and a diminishing goal return, Atletico would otherwise be sensible to allow the striker to leave if AC Milan submit a bid for him that meets the La Liga club’s valuation.

If the likes of Felix and Morata can start scoring regularly between now and January, or if a new face has been lined up, then Costa would be quite dispensable.

Atletico fans, do you think the club should accept £17.3m for Costa if AC Milan were to offer that amount? Have your say by commenting below!

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