On his return to Atlético Madrid after three-and-a-half years of service at Chelsea, Spanish-Brazilian striker Diego Costa failed to make an impact. His “club hero” status at Wanda Metropolitano allowed him to reach an agreement over an early exit a little over six months before the end of his contract with the Spanish team, making him a free agent last winter.
Diego Costa has yet to find a new club after leaving Atlético Madrid by mutual agreement at the end of the calendar year. Rumors have put him in the sights of Arsenal, Palmeiras, and several others from Europe and Asia. But Diego has remained a free agent even after the conclusion of the winter transfer window.
But perhaps he was just waiting for the right move. In fact, according to a report from Goal, the 32-year-old centre forward has been offered a two-year contract by Portuguese giants Benfica.
Diego Costa's next club could be in Portugal— Goal News (@GoalNews) March 8, 2021
Things are not great at Benfica at the moment, sitting currently just fourth in the Primeira Liga, behind local rivals Sporting CP, major rivals FC Porto, and Diego’s former club, Braga, and that despite spending a Portuguese-record €105m in the summer transfer market. Benfica have finished outside of the top three just five times in the entire 87-year history of the Portuguese top flight.
Their lack of goalscoring prowess might be one of the main reasons behind such a poor performance, as their current 1.73 goals-per-match average is way below their 3.03 average achieved in 2018-19, when they last won the title. It could also explain why they are willing to pay €3m per-year to have Diego at the Estádio da Luz.
Although Diego found it hard to go back to his usual “scoring for fun” mode in his return to Atlético, with only 19 goals in 81 matches, playing in Portugal might be the key for him to extend his career a bit longer. Fellow Brazilian striker Jonas, who retired in 2019, once followed a very similar path, going from a competent striker with Valencia to an absolute goal-machine with Benfica (137 goals in the last 183 appearances of his career, including three 30+ seasons).