It’s that time of year again. The transfer window is yet to even officially open, but the sports papers are already packed with rumours surrounding who could be coming in and out this summer.
Fans are used to seeing their best players linked with just about every club under the sun during silly season, but this week it looks like Atleti have made good progress towards completing a few deals of their own.
According to AS, the red and whites have bidded for both Luciano Vietto and Nolito this week, two of La Liga’s surprise stars in the season just gone.
Not just that, but the two players have also come out and publicly declared their desire to play at the Vicente Calderón, which suggests that deals could very well be on the cards.
Vietto in particular is a signing that would make a lot of sense. The 21 year-old knows Simeone well, having made his debut back in 2011 under his stewardship at Argentine side Racing Club.
The Villarreal frontman scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win against his former manager’s side in December, and is apparently the subject of a €20m bid.
“If Atleti pay my buy-out clause, everybody wins,” he said on Friday, and it appears that his wish may have been granted.
However, the Yellow Submarine are not ready to let him go without a fight, and are working on a contract renewal to keep him at El Madrigal for another year. Liverpool and Arsenal are reportedly interested as well.
Nolito on the other hand has an €18m release clause, and AS claimed a few days ago that Atleti had made an offer of €10m.
Cholo is keen to bring more goals to the team from midfield next season, and with 27 goals in the last couple of years he is one that certainly looks to fit the bill.
A late bloomer, the Celta Vigo winger has recently broken into the Spanish national team and would supposedly be available for around €14m.
“Who wouldn’t want to play for Atlético?”, he told press in an interview last week.
Of course, should the two moves materialise there would need to be outgoings, and as expected, Griezmann and Mandzukic are already being linked elsewhere.
On Monday, AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani was pictured meeting with Andrea Berta in a Madrilenian restaurant, and admitted that the Croatian striker was one of the topics of discussion. His asking price may be a deterrant for the Rossoneri, but they are not the only club who admire him.
Griezmann is also earning interest most notably from Bayern Munich, as well as the likes of PSG and Chelsea. Atleti sent a delegation to London last week, although it could have been to discuss a possible Alderweireld-Filipe Luís swap, which MARCA hinted at this morning.
The club are already working on an improved contract for the Frenchman with a higher buy-out clause, and it seems much more likely that Mandzukic will be the one who does eventually go.
Also in town this week was Enzo Francescoli, River Plate legend and current sporting director.
Gil Marín met with him earlier in Buenos Aires earlier in the month to discuss the signings upcoming stars Matías Kranevitter and Emmanuel Mammana, and his presence in the Spanish capital suggests that a deal could be close.
Would you be happy with these signings? Could Vietto do a better job at leading the line than Mandzukic?