AS Roma eye a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, while Napoli close in on Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol.
Roma eyeing a move for Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid
Reports suggest that Roma are lining up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa as a direct replacement for Pablo Osvaldo, who is expected to leave this summer.
Deigo Costa has often divided opinions on the pitch and off it. The Brazilian, who was recently granted Spanish citizenship after spending over five years in the country, has often grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons. But keeping aside his on-field antics, he has been a key figure for Atletico especially in the second half of the season. Diego Costa has made the most of the limited opportunities he has received last season. He started the least number of games for a player with 10 or more La Liga goals. He scored a total of 20 goals in all competitions and created many more for his team mates.
Many experts see him as the man to step-up and replace Falcao next season, even for than the new arrival David Villa. He certainly has the talent to do so, if he can keep his head together. But recent reports suggest that Italian side Roma are interested in signing him as they prepare for the departure of Osvaldo. The Italian forward, who scored 16 goals in the league last season, has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Manchester City and Southampton being linked with him.
Roma have also been linked with Gervinho and Nani. Rudi Garcia is the market for a versatile wide forward, who can provide goals as well. While Diego Costa will certainly be a better buy than Gervinho, Nani’s high wage demands and transfer fee has been a stumbling block in this move. It is believed that Deigo Costa could be available at a transfer fee of €12 million, something which Roma can afford. But it seems unlikely that Atletico will be willing to sell the Brazilian forward, having already lost Falcao. Moreover, Costa’s newly acquired Spanish citizenship means that the club can now sign a non-EU player this summer, without having to sell him.
Napoli close to landing Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol
The 27-year-old had a good start to his Real Madrid career, but injuries and new arrivals have seen him fall down in the pecking order. Last season he made only 14 starts in the league and was perhaps the fourth choice center-back under Jose Mourinho, behind the likes of Varane, Ramos and Pepe. With the World Cup looming large in the horizon, Raul Albion needs regular first team action in order to make it to the final squad of the Spanish national team, and Napoli are willing to offer him that.
Rafa Benitez made Albiol his priority this summer after the departure of hugely experienced defender Hugo Campagnaro to Inter. If Benitez continues with the hugely successful 3-4-1-2 formation of his predecessor, then Albiol will have to fight it out with the likes of Cannavaro, Gamberini and Britos for a place in the three-man defence.
Napoli will be offering Real Madrid €12 million for the Spanish international and Albiol is expected to sign a four-year contract with the club. The Italian club do have money to spend after €64m from the sale of Edinson Cavani to PSG. Benitez is also in the market for a new striker and interestingly he might go back to Real Madrid once again, with the Italian club being linked with a move for Gonzalo Higuain. Napoli have already secured the signing of Jose Callejon from the Spanish giants earlier this summer.