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Atletico target new striker, could have implications for Arsenal's Costa chase

Atletico Madrid target Hoffenheim striker Roberto Firmino which is further good news in Arsenal’s chase of Diego Costa.

Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira, commonly known as Roberto Firmino, has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid according to the German paper Sport Bild.

The Hoffenheim striker started his career in his native Brazil playing for Figueirense. His 8 goals in 38 appearances attracted Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and he made the move to Germany in 2011.

The 22-year-old striker has been a revelation so far this season, outshining his much coveted team-mate Kevin Volland in a free scoring Hoffenheim side. Firmino has notched eight goals and six assists in 16 Bundesliga appearances, an impressive record for a youngster.

As a typical Brazilian forward, Firmino is forever asking for the ball to be played into his feet and one who loves to dribble. So far this season, he has completed 63 successful dribbles, 19 more than Hoffenheim’s next highest, and firing in an impressive 36 shots. His performances have been noted around Europe and Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is mulling over a January transfer window offer.

The Argentine manager has also reportedly offered for Celtic striker Georgios Samaras, and it appears that going after another striker the Atletico boss feels that it could only be a matter of time before star striker Diego Costa has his £32m release clause activated.

Arsenal are the side that has been rumoured to be in for the player, and SkySports reported that if Arsene Wenger feels that a special player comes along, then the Gunners will try to bring him in.

"We are as many clubs, certainly on alert," said the Frenchman. "If something special turns up, we will not turn it down"

Altetico Madrid’s sudden interest in other strikers could indicate that Arsenal are edging closer to their target, and a big money move might not be far away. Either way, with the Madrid-based side’s current transfer activity, Arsene Wenger can start to feel optimistic that Diego Costa is no longer untouchable and off the transfer market.

Will Arsenal make a January move for Diego Costa?

image: © azuaje

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