Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is in negotiations to sign for South American and Brazilian champions Flamengo, with former teammate Filipe Luis acting as an intermediary between the two clubs.
The Spain international has struggled for form since rejoining Los Rojiblancos for €56m in January 2018, scoring 14 goals in 59 appearances during his second spell with the side.
He has netted only twice for Atleti this term, despite being handed a prominent role in the early stages of the campaign.
Costa’s sub-par performances resulted in his game-time being cut by Atletico coach Diego Simeone in months, before a spinal injury in mid-November left the 31-year-old Facing a lengthy spells on the sidelines.
He could be out of action until 2020, by which time the Brazilian-born forward may have agreed to leave the Spanish capital, with Goals reporting that Flamengo left-back Luis has made contact with his former teammate over a proposed switch to Rio de Janeiro.
When asked if his club are set to swoop for Costa, Luis said: “He is the ideal player for Flamengo, his style of play. He will become a fans’ favourite quickly, and I hope to be here to live this dream. It would be very cool.”
The pair played together at both Atletico and Chelsea, though it’s believed Flamengo would have to break their transfer record – currently €13.5m – to reunite them, with Atletico valuing the hitman at between €20m and €30m.
Nevertheless, Costa has claimed he wants to return to his country of birth before retiring.
“Of course, I want to play in Brazil, because I never played [there],” he said in a recent interview. “I have this desire and this dream. Clubs like Flamengo, if the time comes, you won’t say no.”
Flamengo’s first-choice option up top is Gabriel Barbosa, who has spent the season with them on loan from Inter. While the Brazilian side are keen on a permanent transfer, the Nerazzurri are holding out for €35m.
It seems logical that they would turn their attentions to the cheaper alternative that is Costa, especially in light of his recent comments. Given his age and the poor displays he’s put this season, Flamengo could get a cut-price deal for him.