The World Cup may be starting today, but that does not mean that the transfer market takes a rest and club sides are working hard to get deals done early and build for next season – none more so than Atlético Madrid.
After the historic season just gone, our league-winning team is the subject of widespread interest from across the globe, and less than three weeks after the Champions League final (sorry to bring it up again), we’ve already seen a large turnover of players moving in and out of the club.
So far, the signature of exciting young Argentine forward Ángel Correa from San Lorenzo has been secured along with 30 year-old Getafe stopper Miguel Ángel Moya, and left-back Guilherme Siqueira has also signed from Granada as a potential replacement for Filipe Luís.
Only David Villa has officially left the club having become the first ever player for MLS newcomers New York City FC, although Dani Aranzubía, Diego Ribas and Tiago are all out of contract at the end of June, whereas José Sosa and Thibaut Courtois will return to their parent clubs following the end of their respective loan spells.
The latter’s departure is particularly hard-hitting given the incredible impact he has made in three seasons, although rumours surrounding his replacement have been dominating the Atlético sections for a while now.
Levante’s Keylor Navas looked to be in pole position, although that one may need to take a backseat for the next few weeks due to his International involvement with Costa Rica. Another candidate could be Geronimo Rulli, who in addition to having a brilliant name, also passes the YouTube test. (who doesn’t?)
The 22 year-old has no European or International experience so a period of adaptation would be needed, but similarly to Courtois, the risk could be worth taking as he does look to have all of the attributes, despite not having been tested at the top level. Our last recruit from Independiente didn’t turn out too badly either…
Punto Pelota suggested on Tuesday that a deal could also be reached with Chelsea to bring Courtois back for another two years as part of a deal that would take Diego Costa and Filipe to Stamford Bridge, but it probably goes without saying that given the source, we may be clutching at straws a little with that one.
Saying that, they are probably right in assuming that José Mourinho will be getting his hands on more than a few of our prized assets next year. As you would expect from him and his club, any hint of respect has been thrown out of the window with players already publicly discussing how Spain’s new centre-forward will fit in to their system.
When asked on Saturday, Costa told press that a move seemed more than likely, much different to his response to the same question a month ago despite having supposedly signed a pre-agreement with the Blues back in December.
Cadena COPE also interviewed a man – only identified as Eduardo – claiming to be a friend of the beast last night, who insisted Costa will travel to London in the second week of August to seal the deal.
Tiago also looks set to sign for his former club and manager for the second time, and with Siqueira now on board, all signs look towards Filipe joining making the same move. As reported in AS today though, he like any other player will only be allowed to leave if the release clause is met.
The same applies to Miranda, who’s future is still unclear and judging by an interview on Brazilian radio, he seems keen on securing one final pay cheque. The hero of last year’s Copa del Rey win could also be heading to the UK, meaning our entire Portuguese-speaking clan could be heading for the exit at once.
“I have received several offers and we are negotiating,” he told Radio ESPN. “I have offers from the Spanish and English leagues, and other competitions. “My agent is currently in Europe, resolving my future. My buy-out clause with Atlético Madrid is €30m, but that is negotiable.”
Who is your number one choice to replace Diego Costa should he leave? Will you be disappointed in players who ultimately leave for a higher salary?