In the hours that have passed since Barcelona confirmed the capture of Arda Turan, Atleti fans have been pondering who the club will bring in to replace the Turkish wizard.
For months, rumours have been speculating that Atlético had already narrowed down their options to fill Arda’s boots, if the Turk’s wish to leave was granted.
Now the move has been confirmed, some people do not expect any signings to be made as a direct replacement, instead choosing to place their trust in Óliver, or Ángel Correa.
According to the newspapers, Atlético have been focusing their attention on Nico Gaitán, the Argentinean midfielder currently at Benfica.
Gaitán only renewed his contract with the Portugese club in November 2014, increasing his buy-out clause to €35 million. A fee that Atleti are unwilling to meet – at least in cash.
Los Rojiblancos reportedly offered up Ángel Correa as a makeweight in order to get the deal done, but Benfica are holding out for the release clause to make the most of their asset.
“We’re 98 per cent sure Gaitán is leaving,” said the guys over at PlanetBenfica.co.uk. “We always sell a big name every summer, and it looks like it’s Nico’s time. Even though we want him to stay, of course.”
Reports in today’s Marca suggest that Atleti weren’t able to make a deal with Benfica, and the player looks destined to sign for Manchester United – also heavily linked.
Instead, Atlético attention has turned to their second-choice signing, Ferreira Carrasco of Monaco.
The Belgian youngster joined Monaco as a 17-year-old from Genk in 2010, and scored eight goals last season for Monaco.
Atleti have started negotiations with the Ligue 1 club, and Luis Campo, Monaco’s sporting director, hasn’t ruled out a move.
“For now, he is our player, and he will begin the pre-season with us,” he said in Marca. “But you’ll see – you never know.”
What do you think of the prospect of signing Ferreira Carrasco? Would you prefer Gaitán? What do you make of us supposedly offering up Ángel Correa?