Arsenal set to scout La Liga star with view to £32m move

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Arsenal look as if they are preparing to add a striker to the ranks in January, with reports suggesting they are set to scout one of European football's most prolific frontmen this week.

According to, Gunners scouts will watch Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa in consecutive games - firstly the Copa del Rey clash against minnows Saint Andreu on Wednesday followed by Saturday's La Liga fixture against Levante - with a view to a possible £32 million move in January.

25-year-old Costa, who arrived back for his second stint at the Vicente Calderon in January 2010, has been in simply lethal form of late, netting 17 goals in 16 La Liga games as Diego Simeone's charges have looked to asset their status as a genuine threat to Barcelona's status as champions.

Linked extensively with Liverpool during the summer, Costa's fantastic goalscoring exploits have seen the Brazilian-born star - who recently provoked the ire of Luis Felipe Scolari by choosing to pledge his international future to Spain - continually the subject of sustained transfer speculation, with the player also reportedly a target for Chelsea.

Arsenal's need for an extra forward is abundantly clear, with only the frequently-maligned figure of Nicklas Bendtner currently able to provide backup to first-choice frontman Olivier Giroud.

Arsene Wenger does have the added option of Lukas Podolski, but even with the German nearing a return to first-team action, it is surely likely that the Arsenal boss will be seeking to adequately reinforce his frontline.

Chelsea, who suffered a last-gasp extra-time defeat to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup last night, are another side also clearly in the market for a striker following the struggles of the likes of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o in front of goal this season.

Rumours have suggested that Chelsea are pursuing a potential deal for Monaco hitman Falcao, and it remains to be seen if Arsenal's apparent interest in Costa will tempt them into a move of their own.

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