Atletico Madrid eye Chelsea star as replacement for Diego Costa

Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London on December 28, 2020.

Atletico Madrid are reportedly eyeing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud as a potential long-term replacement for Diego Costa who recently departed the club for personal reasons.

Giroud, 34, famously joined Chelsea from arch-rivals Arsenal during the January transfer window of 2018 in a deal worth £15.3m, as per Transfermarkt.

Since swapping London alliances the French marksman has netted 37 times in 103 matches, in all competitions.

However, as the 34-year-old’s current deal edges closer to expiring this summer, there have been recent suggestions Giroud could become the next big name to depart Stamford Bridge.

According to a recent live report from Rai Sport (via the Mirror), La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid have earmarked Chelsea’s World Cup winner as a potential replacement for Costa.

Costa, 32, joined Chelsea in 2014 before departing four years later to join Diego Simeone’s resolute Spanish outfit.

However, despite being a fan-favourite at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Costa and Atletico Madrid recently reached a mutual agreement to terminate the striker’s contract due to personal reasons, as per Sky Sports.

Costa’s shock departure has sparked suggestions this season’s odds on favourites to lift La Liga title could be forced into the transfer market in an attempt to replace their former striker.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail have linked Costa with an audacious Premier League return with Wolverhampton Wanderers seemingly the front-runners to land the opinion-splitting striker.

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