Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has lauded the abilities of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa after being linked with a January move for his signature.

The Gunners boss is one of a number of top level managers believed to be monitoring the Brazil-born forward who has been one of European football’s top centre-forwards this season.

Costa has netted 12 goals in 11 La Liga fixtures already to help Atletico emerge as genuine candidates to break up the Real Madrid/Barcelona duopoly in Spain.

As Wenger looks to up his transfer plans ahead of the New Year, the Frenchman confessed that he has been impressed by Costa.

“He had already grabbed my attention last year through his determination, his strength to move forward,” Wenger told the Daily Star.

“He also possesses technical quality and a cool head when carrying out his finishing touches.

“For a long time, he was loaned out because he couldn’t find his place. But over the last two seasons he has really moved up a notch.

“The departure of [Radamel] Falcao has given him space. The team plays for him and we can see all the talent he possesses.

“There is something animal in his determination, in his hunger. You can feel that he is a player who, before arriving at a very high level, has fed his thirst and his hunger.”

Liverpool were linked with a move for Costa over the summer, and Chelsea are also thought to be keen.

The razor-sharp attacker is set to pledge his international future to Spain ahead of the 2014 World Cup after growing frustrated at a lack of opportunities in the Brazilian set-up.

Could Diego Costa fire Arsenal to the Premier League title?

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