Atletico target Diego Costa replacement by meeting with Oliver Giroud's agent

Olivier Giroud 3

Atletico Madrid have reportedly taken the first steps to replacing Diego Costa by opening talks with the agent of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.

Atletico are enjoying a spectacular season under manager Diego Simeone, as they currently hold first place in La Liga with games running out for the chasing pack, whilst they are also in the Champions League semi-finals, with the second leg of their tie with Chelsea to come this week.

But their impressive campaign has unsurprisingly led to interest in their players from elsewhere, and it's Chelsea who are looking to vulture star striker Diego Costa. The Brazilian-turned Spaniard has hit 34 goals in all competitions, but has been strongly linked with a blockbuster €60m switch to Stamford Bridge this summer as manager Jose Mourinho desperately seeks to add a goalscorer to his side.

Losing the 25-year-old would be a huge blow to Simeone and Atletico, and it appears that the attention at the Estadio Vicente Calderon has shifted to try and identify potential replacements for their star striker, with the summer transfer window drawing ever closer.

Whilst QPR's Loic Remy and Torino's Ciro Immobile have been linked with moves to the Spanish capital, a new name suggested in local press was Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, who has come under pressure this season after some underwhelming displays.

The Frenchman, 27, has hit 16 goals for the Gunners this season but with a string of poor performances and off-field misdemeanours to his name, there have been plenty of rumours that boss Arsene Wenger will look to sell the former Montpellier man this summer in order to bring in a more prolific striker.

Those rumours will only intensify after Cadena Cope reported that Atletico have already met with the player's agent in a bid to engineer a summer move. The drop off from Costa to Giroud feels considerable, and Chelsea's move for Costa may inadvertently make Arsenal stronger - if Wenger can land a front man who will hit the back of net more regularly.

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