If there’s anyone who thinks the larger-than-life characters in football are a dying breed, point them to Diego Costa.
The 32-year-old would not look out of place as a Hollywood villain, with his bullish playstyle, furrowed brow and quivering temper.
Put simply, Costa defines what it’s like to be a damn late, and with his striker now set to leave Atletico Madrid after asking to end his contract, he’s also a hot commodity in January.
Make no mistake, Costa is a very talented leader and still has a lot to offer in terms of goals, experience and even more wild moments on the pitch. Here are six clubs that could benefit from its unique services.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are sorely lacking in spice in their attack following Raul Jimenez’s head injury.
Fabio Silva can’t be expected to turn Wolves to fame on his own at just 18, so an experienced boss at Costa would fill the gap perfectly. He has a proven track record in the Premier League, eager to go and would add much needed aggression at the top.
Silva would undoubtedly improve the time spent behind the scenes with Costa and Jimenez too.
Pep Guardiola has already admitted that City are unlikely to call on a striker in January, but with Costa now available for little to no cost, it’s a given. Catch it.
It’s a short-term fix and doesn’t do much to answer the “life after Aguero” conundrum, but it gives them another dimension of play and a true striker to aim for.
This one makes sense to literally Everybody involved.
Costa gets an inevitable stint at MLS where he’s going to rip it in the big apple. And in the off-season, he can get a sneaky loan from Manchester City to ease their attacking problems at no cost to them.
Think of Frank Lampard around 2014/15… but with more red cards.
Jose Mourinho had a decent relationship with Diego Costa when the pair were at Chelsea (for the most part), and the chance for two of football’s greatest figures to reunite again was a blockbuster.
Tottenham still don’t have that latest tip to really challenge the Premier League, but bringing Costa in and having him shoot might just be the change of pace they need in the squad to get started.
Adding a 32-year-old Diego Costa to an offensive roster that already features Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, doesn’t seem overwhelmingly wise, but a short-term deal could benefit the old lady.
When it comes to outstanding strikers, Alvaro Morata has everything for Juventus. Signing Costa would give them a rotation and allow Andrea Pirlo to be a little more tactically flexible.
On the surface, the attacking options of Inter, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, seem sufficient. Look beyond the surface, however, and there isn’t much of a Plan-B for Antonio Conte.
Alexis Sanchez is riddled with injuries and Andrea Pinamonti looks as good as done with the club, so there is no one to turn with or offer to compete with. And with Inter embroiled in a Scudetto race with Milan, bringing Costa wouldn’t be a bad option given his features and his CV.
What is the indecisive future of a former Premier League winner without a potential transfer to Istanbul Basaksehir?
The chance to go to Turkey and partner with the defending champions seems ideal on the surface, although the fact that they are no longer in Europe and languish in the middle of the Turkish Super Lig table rules out probably that.
Money talks, so who knows.