£26m flop offered end to Tottenham nightmare - as Diego Costa's replacement

Roberto Soldado

Roberto Soldado's dreadful spell at Tottenham could be coming to an end as Spanish media believe he will sign for Atletico Madrid.

Soldado, 28, earned a reputation for being one of the deadliest strikers in Spanish football during his three year spell with Valencia, as the former Real Madrid man hit 81 goals in 141 with Los Che, which ultimately led to his big money, £26m move to Tottenham last summer.

His predatory instincts were just what Andre Villas-Boas was crying out for at White Hart Lane, but the move hasn't worked out at all, with Soldado hitting just 11 goals in 36 games - mostly from the penalty spot - and many have speculated that he could be on his way out of North London this summer.

The rumours now appear to have some sort of substance as Spanish radio station Cadena Cope today reported that Soldado has already agreed a deal to join Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, handing him a return to the Spanish capital having started his career with Real.

Atletico are in the Champions League final and will face off against their great city rivals, but their success could be their downfall as the vultures of European football continue to circle the Estadio Vicente Calderon - with goal machine striker Diego Costa attracting the most interest.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with a swoop for the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard, leaving manager Diego Simeone to consider bringing in a replacement in advance of his anticipated departure.

And Soldado, whose workrate is reportedly highly valued by Simeone, is a proven goalscorer in La Liga and could resurrect his career back in his homeland - which will be just what the Argentine will be hoping for as he looks to replace the goals of Costa.

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