Political turmoil in Ukraine has prompted Shakhtar Donetsk’s six-man South American contingent to remain in France following the club’s friendly at Lyon last weekend.
Brazilian wide man Douglas Costa stated that the sextet are not seeking permanent moves away from the club, they just don’t want to return while the conflict in the rebel-controlled region is ongoing.
“We want to stay at the club,” he said, “but we must have risk-free working conditions.”
The Independent suggests that a loan move could be in the offing for the 23-year-old and goes so far as to suggest both Arsenal and Tottenham would be interested in a temporary transfer.
With affections also emanating from Italy, prying him away from the perennial Ukrainian champions won’t be easy, but which of the Premier League pair should be trying the harder to snare the lavishly-decorated Canarinho?
Costa was frequently pitched in on the right of an attacking triumvirate last term, occupying the office since Chelsea star Willian fled to join Anzhi.
Having just procured Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, another player who is at his most devastating on the right of a front three, the Gunners could undoubtedly get by without the Brazilian.
The Chilean livewire is just one of a number of attacking wide men currently saturating the Arsenal wage bill, with Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla vying for a starting spot, as well as youngsters Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Serge Gnabry to consider.
But the former duo could conceivably be recalibrated into central strikers next season in order to share the workload with Olivier Giroud, especially given Arsene Wenger’s apparent disinterest in forking out for a genuine number nine.
Cazorla is also rumoured to be on his way out of the Emirates with Atletico Madrid keen on bringing him back to La Liga.
This would leave the Gunners lacking in creativity up front, but Costa could provide the solution.
Spurs have umpteen midfielders, but few who can score goals.
The Shakhtar man’s game is more about providing than net-rustling; he notched just four times in the Ukrainian top-flight last term in a side that dominated the division.
His seasonal haul has only gone north of five just once in his entire career, suggesting he’s not the goalscoring winger solution they seek.