Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confessed that he is a big fan of Chelsea striker Diego Costa and he would have made more of an attempt to sign the centre forward had he known the star would be sold by Atletico Madrid.
The London clubs are set to clash at the Emirates Stadium later today in a fixture that has traditionally been explosive both on the pitch and on the touchline.
Costa got Gabriel Paulista sent off in the game last season and the Spain international has been lamented in some corners for his combustive style of play.
Wenger has stated that the former Atletico man is a top-class striker and he would have tried to bring him to Arsenal when Chelsea bought him had he known the Brazilian-born star was available.
“I never thought he would leave Atletico Madrid at the time, I was surprised,” Wenger told The Guardian.
“Would I have made a harder play for him had I known? Yes. I like him, as a quality striker.”
Arsenal fans have been calling out for the North London club to buy a world-class striker for a number of years, with the Gunners acquiring Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna this summer.