Could Luis Suarez return to Liverpool, where he spent three and half seasons from 2011 to 2014?

The Uruguayan forward has been a key part of Atletico Madrid's LaLiga title push this term, with 19 league goals.

The Reds are reportedly keen to bolster their forward options, with Suarez on their list.

 

TOP STORY – REDS PREPARING SUAREZ OFFER

Liverpool are interesting in the return of Suarez this off-season and are preparing an offer for the Atletico Madrid forward, according to Fichajes.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp reportedly wants to add experience to his front line and 34-year-old Suarez fits the bill.

Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for the Reds in his previous stint before joining Barcelona.

ROUND-UP

- Spanish outlet Cope claims that Real Madrid are not contemplating a move for Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo despite widespread speculation of a return. The report says Madrid are focused on the future rather than a veteran player whose career is winding down.

- Barcelona are planning to release Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho this off-season due to their financial issues, allowing them to retain young talent Pedri, Ilaix Moriba and Ansu Fati, according to El Confidencial.

- On the topic of Barcelona, Sport is claiming the Catalans have approved the signings of Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool and Memphis Depay from Lyon and are awaiting validation from their new board.

- Diego Costa has reached an agreement to join Benfica as a free agent, according to Mundo Deportivo. Costa left Atletico Madrid in December and returned to his native Brazil.

- Manchester United are considering a move to sign 24-year-old Villarreal defender Pau Torres in the off-season, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- Galatasaray, Flamengo or Marseille are the primary options to be Arturo Vidal's next home as he is set to leave Inter, reports Calciomercato.

Where will Jack Grealish play his football next season?

It is one of the big questions in English football right now and Manchester City have joined the conversation.

City are reportedly emerging as the favourites to sign the Aston Villa captain.

 

TOP STORY – CITY LINE UP GREALISH SPLASH

Manchester City appear best placed to sign Aston Villa's £100million-rated captain Jack Grealish, according to the Daily Mail.

Grealish reportedly came close to joining Manchester United last year, but the Red Devils could not come up with the funds to seal the deal.

City manager Pep Guardiola is a well-known admirer of Grealish, previously calling him "an exceptional player".

 

ROUND-UP

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Liverpool have joined the queue chasing Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni, with a reported £43m (€50m) move. European heavyweights Bayern Munich and Barcelona are also allegedly keen on the 21-year-old Italy international.

Tottenham are likely to opt out of exercising the £36m (€42m) option-to-buy Carlos Vinicius, who is on loan at Spurs from Benfica according to the Daily Mail. The report claims Spurs are only willing to pay more than half that amount for the Brazilian.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are considering a move for Arkadiusz Milik, who they have previously been linked with as they prepare for the possible departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. Juve are reportedly set to revive their interest in Milik, with the Poland international on loan at Marseille from Napoli.

- Football Insider reports that United are plotting a move for Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez amid doubts over star David de Gea and Dean Henderson. They have also been linked with Milan sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Real Madrid are keen to bring back Levante winger Jorge de Frutos to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to Marca.

Mikel Arteta singled out Willian for "changing the game" against Benfica as Arsenal salvaged a dramatic victory to progress from Thursday's Europa League last-32 tie.

Arsenal, the designated home team, were on the brink of exiting the competition at the first knockout-stage hurdle for the second year running before a late turnaround on neutral soil in Greece.

Diogo Goncalves' impressive free-kick and Rafa Silva's finish into an empty net cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener to give Benfica a 3-2 aggregate lead.

Along with Thomas Partey, Willian was brought on two minutes later and the double change paid off as Arsenal hit back to salvage their campaign in the final half an hour.

Full-back Kieran Tierney lashed home and Aubameyang proved the match-winner three minutes from the end with a header to send Arsenal through 4-3 on aggregate.

Aubameyang took the plaudits with his late goal but Arteta felt Willian, who set up Tierney's goal, was the Gunners' real hero.

"Willian, specifically, I think he changed the game," Arteta said at his post-match news conference.

"He gave us much more composure in moments, produced some creativity, produced the goal for Kieran and we need everybody on board."

Willian completed 94 per cent of his 17 passes in the opposition half – the best return of any Arsenal player to have attempted at least three such passes.

The assist for Tierney's goal was the only key pass Willian played, with the Scotland international arrowing the ball away from Helton Leite at a crucial point in the tie.

Tierney, who became the first Scotsman to score for Arsenal in a major European competition since Willie Young against IFK Goteborg in March 1980 in the Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, was also the recipient of individual praise from his manager.

"The way I'd describe him is all determination, all passion for what he does," the Spaniard said.

"The way he has come back from his injury and how willing he is to help the team. He gives us a big lift."

Aubameyang has now scored in seven of his last eight cup matches for Arsenal, netting 10 goals in total, with his only blank coming in the first leg against Benfica.

The Gabon international missed a big chance to send his side through at the same stage last season and is pleased to have put that miss against Olympiacos behind him.

"I definitely had that in my head but this is what gives me power every day to take the errors from the past and transform it to strength," he told BT Sport.

"The team showed a lot of character and we deserved the win. It was a hard game. What we showed tonight will be an example for the future."

Aubameyang now has 13 goals for the season in all competitions and Arteta added: "I completely trust him because we're producing the chances and you know when Auba has chances he's going to score goals."

Arsenal, who have now won on each of their last three visits to Greece, will learn their last-16 opponents in Friday's draw.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pounced for the goal that could save Arsenal's season as his late header earned a 3-2 win over Benfica in Greece.

The Gunners scraped through to the Europa League last-16 stage, winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate thanks to two goals from captain Aubameyang and one from Kieran Tierney, but it was very nearly a shocker of a night for Mikel Arteta and his team.

They took the lead through Aubameyang, but Dani Ceballos then blundered twice and Diogo Goncalves and Rafa put Benfica ahead.

Kieran Tierney hit back, yet it looked as though Arsenal, the designated home team, would be eliminated on the away-goals rule until Aubameyang headed in Bukayo Saka's cross in the 87th minute, ensuring their only realistic route into next season's Champions League was not cut off.

Mikel Arteta has challenged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to do his talking on the pitch following criticism of the Arsenal forward's performance against Manchester City.  

Aubameyang had just 19 touches and attempted 11 passes in the 1-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders at Emirates Stadium, a result that leaves the Gunners languishing in 10th place in the table.  

Jamie Redknapp said in his post-match analysis on Sky Sports that the former Borussia Dortmund player was "past his best" and had "lost his superpower".  

"I saw him run past people when he first came to the Premier League. I saw him run past people at Dortmund. Now I'm seeing a player who looks like he's going to get bullied," Redknapp said of the 31-year-old. 

Aubameyang had scored a hat-trick in his previous league outing, a 4-2 victory over Leeds United, taking his tally in the competition to eight for the season – he managed 22 in his previous two campaigns with Arsenal.  

Arteta did not see Redknapp's comments but is aware of them, leading to him offering support for his under-fire captain ahead of the second leg of the Europa League tie against Benfica.  

"I'm here to support every single player and that is what I try to do all the time,” the Arsenal boss said.

"I try to give them the best possible advice and when they have a difficult moment, stay right behind them and that's what we try to do always." 

He added: "I think the best way to talk is always on the pitch.   

"Seven days before when he scored the hat-trick and he could have scored four or five against Leeds, he was again the main man.   

"He could have scored a hat-trick against Benfica easily with his qualities and it would have been different. At the end [of the day] it's about putting the ball in the back of the net for him and that's how he gets joy."

Arsenal go into the return fixture with the last-32 tie delicately poised at 1-1, Bukayo Saka's second-half goal securing a draw against their Portuguese opponents in Rome last week.

The teenager has been one of few positives for the Gunners in an otherwise difficult campaign, though Arteta is confident the England international can still get even better.

"His form in recent months shows that he's a very important player for us," the Arsenal boss said.

"I think he's getting better and better, his performance levels have been really consistent, so that makes him for sure one of the most important players in recent months.

"He's dealing with things at his age in a very unusual way, but that's why he's showing what he's showing, because his maturity is above his age and so is his intelligence as well."

Mikel Arteta appreciates the pressure is always on at Arsenal as he prepares his squad for a pivotal game against Benfica that will shape the remainder of their season.

Arsenal go into the second leg against their Portuguese opponents with the Europa League last-32 tie delicately balanced following a 1-1 draw in Rome. 

The English club did grab an away goal in the first meeting, though are without the benefit of home advantage for the return fixture. Due to coronavirus travel restrictions, the game is to be played in Greece. 

Out of both domestic cups and languishing down in 10th place in the Premier League, Europe offers the Gunners their last chance of success in Arteta's first full season in charge. 

"I always feel that it (pressure) is [on me], every time you're playing in a competition and you can go out you know the consequences and with this club [the aim] is always to win the competition that you are in, so that doesn't really change much," Arteta said.

"It's a big season and a really important [game], mentally and confidence-wise.  

"It's going to dictate if we're in another competition or not for a few more weeks. This is really what we need. It's a really tough opponent.  

"It's a Champions League team who have been playing in these types of games for many years with a manager with huge experience. For us, it's a final."

With an 11-point gap to fourth-placed West Ham and just 13 games remaining, it seems improbable that Arsenal can qualify for next season's Champions League through the domestic route. 

The Europa League, therefore, takes on added importance. They have won on each of their previous two visits to Greece as well, albeit both against Olympiacos, including a victory in this same competition a year ago. 

"I think while mathematically everything is possible, in football you have to try so hard," Arteta said. "We're going to do that in the league for sure.

"It's true that the Europa League gives you a completely different route and is a competition that we want to carry on playing, and try to win it.  

"Tomorrow is another opportunity to make a step forward. The better we are in the Europa League, the better we're going to be performing in the league and vice-versa. We need to be alive in both competitions."

Arteta revealed Thomas Partey is "very close" to a return from a hamstring injury, meaning the midfielder could feature against Benfica. Rob Holding, however, is ruled out due concussion protocols. 

Mikel Arteta warned Arsenal must be more ruthless after they had to settle for a 1-1 Europa League round of 32 draw with Benfica in the first leg at Stadio Olimpico.

Bukayo Saka equalised just over two minutes after Pizzi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot, with Emile Smith Rowe punished for handling a Diogo Goncalves cross in the second half in Rome on Thursday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inexplicably wasted a glorious chance to put the Gunners in front in the first half and the captain missed another couple of opportunities five days after scoring a hat-trick against Leeds United.

Saka's away goal in the first of two legs played at neutral venues due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions gives the Premier League club a slight advantage.

Arsenal boss Arteta was frustrated that his side were so wasteful, though, leaving the tie finely poised ahead of the second leg at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens next Thursday.

"We were very dominant and created some big chances," he told BT Sport. "We have to be more ruthless.

"It was disappointing the way we conceded the goal. We gave them the ball then it was 1-1 and all to play for.

"We conceded a corner then, from the corner, we did not react quick enough and conceded the penalty. Looking at it, it's difficult to judge. We had a great reaction and scored a great goal.

"We tried to maintain the level. Both teams dropped in the last 20 minutes, but overall we should leave the ground with more."

Saka knows Arsenal have little margin for error after the 19-year-old became the youngest Premier League player to have scored 10 or more goals and provided at least 10 assists since the start of last season.

The versatile England international said: "It is about managing the game. Last year when we went out to Olympiakos we conceded a silly goal. We can't put a foot wrong because if we do we will make it difficult for ourselves."

Bukayo Saka's away goal gave Arsenal the upper hand as they drew 1-1 with Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie at Stadio Olimpico.

Pizzi became the leading goalscorer in the competition this season with seven when he put Benfica in front from the penalty spot early in the second half after Emile Smith Rowe handled.

Arsenal only had themselves to blame for being behind after some poor finishing, but Saka levelled just over two minutes after Pizzi struck at the neutral venue in Rome on Thursday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was particularly wasteful, but the Gunners have the edge ahead of the second leg at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens next week.

Arsenal were unchanged for the first time since September 2018 and Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick in the win over Leeds United on Sunday, inexplicably missed a glorious chance to put them in front 17 minutes in.

Hector Bellerin looked to have a put an opening goal on a plate for his captain when he crossed from the right, but the unmarked Aubameyang somehow failed to hit the target with his left foot.

Benfica offered little going forward but Granit Xhaka was relieved to get away with a terrible pass just before the break, Dani Ceballos coming to the rescue by blocking a Diogo Goncalves cross with two unmarked men in red shirts waiting for a tap-in.

Saka scuffed a poor shot wide after Benfica were opened up by Bellerin and Ceballos, but it was Benfica who drew first blood from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half.

Pizzi coolly slotted home from 12 yards out after Smith Rowe handled Goncalves' cross, but the Premier League side hit straight back with an equaliser from Saka.

Martin Odegaard picked out a surging Cedric Soares with an incisive pass and the full-back's cross was tucked home by England winger Saka from close range.

Aubameyang fired wide again when he should have hit the target and the fit-again Kieran Tierney returned off the bench before Benfica substitute Everton fired off target against the run of play.

Striker Aubameyang took too long when he had another clear opportunity to put Arsenal in front as neither side could fashion a winner.

Mikel Arteta described criticism of Willian as "normal" after the Brazilian came under fire from Arsenal legend Tony Adams. 

Willian has made 18 Premier League appearances for the Gunners since joining the club on a free transfer from Chelsea, though he has struggled to produce his best form and has yet to score a goal for Arsenal. 

In contrast, 19-year-old winger Bukayo Saka has netted five times in 21 league appearances this season, while 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe has impressed in midfield, prompting Adams to question the club's decision to bring in Willian, as well as the more recent arrival of Martin Odegaard in the January window. 

Arteta admitted there is pressure on Willian to perform, saying of the criticism from Adams: "I don't say it's unfair. 

"The expectations of Willian and the goals he can score, the assists he can create. It's normal that people will write things about him. 

"We have to protect him as much as we can." 

Adams also took aim at Odegaard, suggesting the Premier League club did not need to bring in the Norwegian playmaker, particularly given the recent emergence of Smith Rowe. 

However, Arteta is backing the 22-year-old acquisition from Real Madrid to succeed during his loan spell, saying: "He's got the potential [to become one of the best] because he's done it. 

"I followed him very closely when he was at Real Sociedad and he was impressive for long periods. That's why I was so convinced he could be a player for us." 

Arsenal face Benfica in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday, with the competition appearing to present their best route to qualifying for next season's Champions League. 

Both legs of the tie will be played in neutral venues due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, meaning Arsenal travel to Rome for the 'away' leg on Thursday. 

Arteta underlined his side's determination not to let the setting affect their progress, saying: "It's very unusual but as much as we can we must try to maintain the integrity of the competition." 

Arsenal's Europa League round-of-32 matches against Benfica are set to both take place at neutral venues due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mikel Arteta's side were due to travel to Lisbon for the February 18 first leg, but Portugal is on the UK government's 'red list', which means there are strict coronavirus quarantine rules around people returning from the country.

That would have had an obvious knock-on effect on the Gunners' subsequent schedule and both clubs have agreed to move the game to Rome's Stadio Olimpico on the same date as a result.

"UEFA would like to express its gratitude to Benfica and Arsenal for their support and close co-operation, as well as the Italian Football Federation and AS Roma for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match," European football's governing body said in a statement.

Although it was not mentioned in UEFA's release, Arsenal initially said their 'home' leg on February 25 would take place in Athens at Olympiacos' Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

However, an amended announcement on their official website stated: "Details regarding the second leg will be confirmed in due course."

Away goals will still be used to separate the teams in the event of an aggregate score draw.

The Arsenal v Benfica clash is the latest tie in European club competition to be affected by local coronavirus guidelines, with further disruption possible before the Champions League and Europa League resume later this month.

Earlier on Tuesday, Manchester United's Europa League trip to Real Sociedad was moved to the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Regulations in Spain related to arrivals from the UK mean Chelsea's tie against Atletico Madrid is also in the offing to be rearranged.

Manchester City and Liverpool's respective away Champions League games against Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig in the last 16 will now both take place in Budapest.

Liverpool's need for defensive reinforcements was always likely to dominate the headlines on transfer deadline day and so it proved as the Premier League champions made two late signings.

Centre-back Ben Davies arrived from Preston North End, while Liverpool made a further addition to the heart of their backline with the loan signing of Ozan Kabak from Bundesliga strugglers Schalke until the end of the season.

Those signings came on a day that saw Joel Matip ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are long-term absentees and Liverpool were forced to play Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Phillips at centre-back in Sunday's win at West Ham.

Heading for the Anfield exit door is Takumi Minamino, the forward moving to Southampton on a six-month loan deal having only joined Liverpool last January.

It came after Southampton loaned veteran Shane Long to promotion-chasing Championship side Bournemouth.

Bournemouth also sanctioned the departure of Joshua King to Everton for a nominal fee until the end of the season.

There were outgoings at Arsenal as well, with Shkodran Mustafi signing for Schalke on a short-term deal and Joe Willock going on loan to Newcastle United, who let DeAndre Yedlin leave for Galatasaray.

Arsenal also sent Ainsley Maitland-Niles to West Brom on loan.

Turkish giants Galatasaray acquired Gedson Fernandes on a temporary deal from Benfica following an unsuccessful stint at Tottenham.

In Serie A, Parma landed Bayern Munich's teenage forward Joshua Zirkzee in a loan deal that contains the option to sign the 19-year-old permanently.

Atalanta are firmly in contention for a top-four finish in Serie A and bolstered their ranks for that push with the capture of Ukraine midfielder Viktor Kovalenko from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Roma can afford to have hopes of a title challenge and brought in teenage full-back Bryan Reynolds from MLS outfit Dallas on an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy, to help them.

Frozen out at Juventus, midfielder Sami Khedira is back in the Bundesliga following a switch to Hertha Berlin, but one of European football's most exciting talents is heading to Italy after Udinese signed Jayden Braaf on loan from Manchester City with an option to buy.

Elsewhere, Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny joined Celtic on loan for the rest of the season, Brighton and Hove Albion signed highly rated midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle, West Brom loaned Okay Yokuslu from Celta Vigo and defender Teden Mengi moved from Manchester United to Wayne Rooney's Derby County on a temporary basis.

Could Barcelona be about to make a splash in the free-agent market?

Strapped for cash amid the coronavirus pandemic, Barca are believed to have set their sights on two stars.

David Alaba and Sergio Aguero are on the agenda at Camp Nou…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYEING OUT-OF-CONTRACT DUO

Barcelona are set to target Bayern Munich star David Alaba and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero , according to Mundo Deportivo.

Alaba and Aguero are both out of contract at the end of the season, prompting interest from embattled LaLiga giants Barca.

Bayern's Alaba has been tipped to join Real Madrid , while the likes of Manchester United , Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked.

Aguero, meanwhile, is no certainty to renew in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Inter's Romelu Lukaku .

 

ROUND-UP

-   Sport reports Raphael Varane wants to leave LaLiga champions Madrid . The French defender has previously been linked to United .

- Madrid cannot afford to sign the likes of PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Haaland due to their current financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, claims Marca.

- The Guardian says West Ham have lowered their asking price for Declan Rice , who has been linked to Chelsea and United .

- Martin Odegaard is close to swapping Madrid for Arsenal on loan, reports journalist Fabrizio Romano.

- Romano also says United have not opened talks with Lens to sign Argentine centre-back Facundo Medina . The Red Devils are eyeing a new centre-back amid links with in-demand RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano .

Napoli want to sign either Sporting CP full-back Nuno Mendes or Benfica's Nuno Tavares , reports Calciomercato.

- There are serious doubts over Edin Dzeko's future at Roma, with Calciomercato claiming Juventus and Inter are monitoring the situation.

Will a Juventus-Paul Pogba reunion become a reality?

The future of Manchester United star continues to dominate headlines.

A move back to Turin could be on the cards for Pogba.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO MAKE POGBA OFFER

Serie A champions Juventus will try to prise Paul Pogba from Manchester United at the end of the season, according to the Calciomercato.

Pogba appears set to leave United following the 2020-21 campaign after his agent Mino Raiola claimed the French midfielder was unhappy in Manchester.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked but Juve, who signed Pogba from United in 2012 before losing him to the Red Devils four years later, want to bring the World Cup winner back to Turin.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be given £200million to spend on new players in the next transfer window. Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku are on the list of potential targets, as well as Benfica's Darwin Nunez amid doubts over Sergio Aguero 's future. Haaland has also been linked with neighbours United , Madrid , Barca , Liverpool and Juve .

Bayern Munich are interested in Madrid defender Eder Militao , claims Mundo Deportivo. It comes as Bayern look to replace David Alaba , who is set to leave the Bundesliga champions on a free transfer. Alaba has been tipped to join Madrid .

Milan  are close to re-signing star pair Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu , says Tuttosport. Corriere dello Sport reports Milan are also nearing a deal to sign veteran forward Mario Mandzukic .

- The Athletic claims Mesut Ozil is poised to leave Arsenal for Turkish giants Fenerbahce after reaching an agreement in principle to terminate his Gunners contract.

- The Transfer Window Podcast claims Madrid are considering the possibility of using Eden Hazard in a deal to lure Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

Memphis Depay has been strongly tipped to move to Barca , however, Ok Diario reports the Lyon captain could join Madrid following Luka Jovic's loan return to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Diego Costa is poised to become a prize catch for one club in the days ahead, but what does the former Atletico Madrid striker have in mind?

He was released from his contract with LaLiga's leaders on Tuesday but looks set to make a swift return to football.

Atleti head coach Diego Simeone said he expects Costa to make a success of his next move, with the likes of Benfica, Arsenal and Wolves already linked with the fiery frontman.

Perhaps Costa will favour a move home to play in his native Brazil, or could MLS beckon?

Could Costa light up the Primeira Liga?

Benfica were linked with Costa in the previous close season, but nothing came of their reported interest. However, the Portuguese giants may still fancy a shot at bringing him to the Estadio da Luz.

They sit five points behind leaders Sporting CP this season, with Switzerland international Haris Seferovic their leading scorer with six goals in just three starts and six substitute appearances.

Would Costa fancy the Portuguese league, which he left behind 13 years ago when departing Braga to head to Spain? A Europa League campaign might bolster the appeal, with Benfica drawn to face Arsenal in the first knockout round.

Is he going to be a Gunner?

Given he was a hate figure for many Arsenal fans during his time at Chelsea, when he was a two-time Premier League winner, it would seem inconceivable for Costa to move to Emirates Stadium.

But needs must, and Arsenal might benefit from some of his attitude and knowhow up front as they battle to climb the Premier League table from a lowly standing.

Reports in Spain have suggested Arsenal's interest is genuine, with the club willing to let bygones be bygones and embrace a former fierce rival.

Whatever would they make of it at Chelsea?

Wolves at the door

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest a switch to Wolves could be a goer.

Costa's agent is Jorge Mendes, whose influence has helped the Premier League club build a squad with the talent to challenge for a top-six place.

And with Raul Jimenez sidelined after the serious head injury he sustained at Arsenal in November, Wolves could certainly do with an experienced addition to their forward ranks.

Costa might fancy joining a pack of underdogs, and his prospects of regular top-flight football would appear to be good.

Homeward bound

Perhaps the player who left Brazil as a teenager to seek footballing fame and fortune in Europe could be about to announce a return home.

Costa never played professional club football in Brazil and it may hold some appeal before he hangs up his boots.

There might be some making up to do before that happens, however, given he controversially turned his back on Brazil in 2013, in favour of playing international football for Spain.

The MLS route

A player of Costa's stature could be a big draw in MLS, given his achievements in Europe, his background, and his eye-catching style of play.

Goals have been hard to come by in  LaLiga for Costa during his second spell with Atletico, and there may be some appeal in moving to a league where not only would he be assured regular football, but the goals may come more easily.

If Lionel Messi is considering a future move to the United States, then clearly it is below no one, and Costa may relish seeing out his career in the growing league.

Manchester United have been drawn against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, while Arsenal will face Benfica in the last 32 of the competition. 

United are one the Champions League teams to now be involved in the knockout rounds of the competition, though the draw was far from kind for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side despite being seeded. 

Sociedad sit top of LaLiga and have only lost twice so far this season in all competitions. 

The Spanish club – whose squad includes former United player Adnan Januzaj, as well as ex-Manchester City captain David Silva – will have home advantage in the first leg next February. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, will go on the road first in their tie with Benfica, who qualified from Group D behind Rangers. 

The Gunners have prospered in Europe this campaign but are struggling badly for form in the Premier League, Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Burnley their fourth in a row at home. 

As for their north London neighbours Tottenham, they will go up against Austrian club Wolfsberger when they resume their Europa League campaign in early 2021. 

Leicester City will be on the road for the first leg of their tie with Slavia Prague, while Milan will have to get past Red Star Belgrade if they want to remain on course to lift the only European trophy that has eluded the club so far. 

Steven Gerrard's Rangers go up against Royal Antwerp, Roma face Braga and Napoli will take on Granada.
 
As for Ajax, who finished third in a Champions League group that included Liverpool and Atalanta, the Dutch club have been drawn with Lille.

The first legs will be played on February 18, with the return fixtures to take place the following week.

Spurs will play their home game on Wednesday February 24, however, so to avoid a clash with Arsenal.

 

Europa League last-32 draw in full:

Wolfsberger v Tottenham
Dynamo Kiev v Club Brugge
Real Sociedad v Manchester United
Benfica v Arsenal
Red Star Belgrade v Milan
Royal Antwerp v Rangers
Slavia Prague v Leicester City
Salzburg v Villarreal
Braga v Roma
Krasnodar v Dinamo Zagreb
Young Boys v Bayer Leverkusen
Molde v Hoffenheim

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