By the time Atlético finally receive their La Liga title at the end of the month, those who lift the famous trophy will be a very different set to those who triumphed at the Camp Nou back in May.
The transfer window has really started to heat up since the signing of Antoine Griezmann last week, with the Frenchman’s arrival sparking a flurry of activity in and out of the club.
Málaga captain Jesús Gámez will become the our eighth summer signing after completing a medical on Thursday, meanwhile operación salida is well underway as various players pack their bags and prepare for life away from the Spanish capital.
With Griezmann, Mandžukić and Oblak already in, it’s been suggested that the big money has already been spent this summer, but that does not mean we cannot expect more business.
Given the volume of players who have left since the end of the season, the focus now is on strengthening the squad in order to compete in all three competitions once again.
Last year we had two players for each position, and with Simeone’s reluctance to change his trusted XI unless absolutely necessary, this resulted in some players not getting the minutes they wanted and gradually becoming unsettled.
The plan now is for a smaller squad of just 20 players, all able to be counted on when needed and compete for a starting place, which should push each and every member to perform at their optimum level.
Cristian Rodríguez has repeatedly underlined his desire for more minutes and was left out of the squad that travelled to Izmir for Wednesday’s friendly against Galatasaray, despite a move to Sunderland falling through.
Javier Manquillo also failed to make the trip, instead flying to the UK to tie up a two-year loan to Liverpool. Many have questioned the decision to let the young right-back go, although he did hint via Twitter that we may not have seen the last of him in red and white.
Back in Madrid were Emiliano Insúa and Josuha Guilavogui, the latter expected to join Wolfsburg sooner rather than later. With the arrivals of Gámez and Ansaldi, there is also no place for Insúa, and he could move to Portuguese champions Benfica as a replacement for Guilherme Siqueira.
We shouldn’t expect to see any additional signings in defence (barring another last minute Heitingazo), but further forward, there are concerns that should Mandžukić pick up an injury, no back-up has been brought in and Léo Baptistão is also expected to move on.
Chicharito has been linked, and although at first it looked to just be speculation driven by the Mexican media, the Guardian reported earlier in the week that we were pondering a bid for him and Shinji Kagawa, both said to be unfancied by Manchester United and new boss Louis Van Gaal.
As suggested by the Kagawa link, we are not just pursuing a centre-forward, but also another attacking player to provide an alternative to Koke, Griezmann and Arda. With Adrián, Diego and Sosa all gone, back-up options are very limited as things stand.
There were rumours a few weeks ago that the conflict in Ukraine could facilitate a return for José Sosa, who has been training alone in Madrid recently with permission from parent club Metalist Kharkiv. However, their asking price is not seen as favourable by the Rojiblanco management.
Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio also continues to link us with Torino playmaker Alessio Cerci, but again, there seems to be quite a gap between the valuation of the two clubs. We also await news on Zakaria Bakkali, although things have gone a little quiet on his proposed move from PSV.
What’s clear is that we will see plenty more movement on the banks of the River Manzanares, but time is running out and with just 11 days now until the Super Cup, we will have to move fast in order to close the squad for the season starts.
Are you happy with the names that we are said to be pursuing? Can this year’s squad improve on last?