Spurs striker is Atletico Madrid’s number one summer target

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Diego Costa has been a major part of Atletico Madrid’s ability to keep pace with Spanish football’s two-headed beast this season.

The Brazilian-born Spaniard has scored 21 league goals as Atleti sit second in La Liga, a competition they are 14/1 to win despite only being three points off their local rivals Real.

No matter how well Diego Simeone’s side fare this season – and we feel they could be strong shouts for the Champions League – the likelihood is that Costa will be prised away from the Vicente Calderón Stadium in the summer by a more storied club like Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United.

Should that happen, then Atleti are well versed in finding alternatives for star strikers. Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan have all been relied upon front men to flock the Los Colchoneros nest in the past, and they’ve always been sufficiently replaced.

The man to be made Atleti’s number one summer target is a curious choice, though, given the season he’s having.

Roberto Soldado has struggled at Tottenham since signing for the Premier League side from Valencia last summer.

His 10 goals from 27 appearances in all competitions is far from a return worthy of his £26m price, but his manager believes a purple patch is on the horizon and Ladbrokes have boosted his price to score first against Dnipro.

Should Tim Sherwood prove himself to be the gilleted Mystic Meg and Soldado does remember where the net is for the rest of the season, then Ateltico’s interest won’t be so eyebrow raising.

Nonetheless, it’s fair to assume that the 28-year-old would be a far more effective performer back in his homeland than he is in north London.

After all, he did score 163 league goals in 349 appearances for six different sides before embarking on this nightmare season abroad.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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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.