Arsenal man heads list of Atletico’s English-based Costa subs

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Merry-go-rounds are often in large supply in the football world during the summer months. Usually they centre on managerial changes, but in 2014 it’s likely that strikers take the lead.

To say Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa – 5/1 to score the opening goal against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final second leg – has been a revelation this season is nothing new.

That he’s being courted by many a club after his 34-goal exploits isn’t exactly an exclusive either. However, who the Spanish club – a 15/4-shot to win the Champions League – replace the Brazilian-come-Spaniard with should he fly the nest is of interest considering a new name has entered the fray.

Los Rojiblancos have cast their curious eye over a number of Premier League strikers, working on the assumption that Costa will be sold this summer and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud is the newest subject of a scouting trip.

The north London club, who can be backed at 2/7 to win the FA Cup at Hull’s expense, have themselves flirted with the idea of bringing Costa to England, although it’s believed Chelsea are in the driving seat in that respect.

That hasn’t stopped Atleti from making the Gunners’ only senior striker one of their summer targets though.

Giroud, who has 21 goals for club and country this term, has suffered from burnout this season due to overuse and wouldn’t necessarily turn down the chance of competing for a league title in Spain over endless fourth-placed finishes with Arsene Wenger’s side.

Should a move for Giroud fail to materialise, Diego Simeone has also put Fernando Torres, Loic Remy and Roberto Soldado on his list of potential Costa replacements, with all three likely to be attainable for different reasons.

Torres is a one-time Atleti hero, while Remy is known to seek a move to a big club following his loan at Newcastle from QPR. Soldado, on the other hand, would likely jump at the chance to return home following a less than perfect debut at Tottenham.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.