Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are ready to battle for the services of Shakhtar Donetsk forward Douglas Costa after both clubs allegedly expressed an interest in taking the player on loan.
The Daily Mail reports how the Brazilian playmaker is one of six players that has so far refused to return to Ukraine as conflict continues to rage around the club's home city.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is ready to offer the 23-year-old an escape route to the Premier League, having identified the South American star for a short-term switch to the Emirates Stadium.
Not content with the high-profile £30 million capture of Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, Arsenal are on the lookout for further attacking reinforcements to help ease the goalscoring burden on loan striker Olivier Giroud this season.
Strength in numbers
Costa's arrival would provide Wenger with another option for his forward line, providing he can see off a number of rival suitors for the player's signature.
Over at White Hart Lane, Mauricio Pochettino has also been credited with an interest in bringing the Shakhtar star to north London, as he attempts to add more Champions League experience to his line-up in preparation for a push for a top four finish in the Premier League in 2014/15.
AC Milan and AS Roma are believed to be monitoring Costa's situation closely, and could offer alternative options in Italy rather than just England.
However, despite current goings on in Ukraine the former Gremio star is adamant he will not force a transfer, for fear of coming across as something of a mercenary.
"I like the club, the people, the city, but I'm afraid," he said on his Instagram page. "We want to stay at the club, but we must have risk-free working conditions.
"The Shakhtar players all run a deadly risk if we are in the region."
Shakhtar owner Rinat Akhmetov has already insisted that despite several first-team stars failing to return to pre-season training there will not be a clearance sale before the close of the transfer window, meaning Arsenal and Tottenham might find it difficult to prise Costa away from the Donbass Arena.
The opportunity to move to the Premier League - even on loan - would be an attractive proposition anyway for the Brazilian, but even more so in light of the uprising in his adopted home.
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