Gaitán set to become Atlético’s first summer signing

Rojiblancos will pay €25m for the Argentine winger according to reports

Gaitán has spent the last six seasons at Benfica

Gaitán has spent the last six seasons at Benfica

Atlético Madrid are on the verge of completing their first signing for the 2016/17, with reports from Spain and Portugal suggesting that Benfica winger Nico Gaitán is close to a move.

The Argentine international has long been linked with a move to the Calderón, and it looks as if the move could be about to materialise as he bid farewell to fans on Friday evening.

With the transfer ban currently frozen as FIFA investigate our appeal, Atlético are wasting no time in preparing their squad for the upcoming season.

Of course, there is the small matter of the Champions League final still to play in the current campaign, but the club have moved fast to secure a target supposedly requested by Simeone himself.

The rumour mill went into overdrive on Friday night after Gaitán waved to the crowd and broke down in tears after being substituted in Benfica’s 6-2 Taça da Liga final win over Marítimo.

Both A Bola and TVI reported that a deal worth around €25million had been struck between the two clubs, and the Spanish press soon followed with the news that the player has agreed a four-year contract.

Gaitán himself spoke after the final whistle, and more or less confirmed that he played his last game for the Portuguese champions. “I’m close to leaving Benfica. Where? I don’t want to say, but it’s very close.” he said.

The 28 year-old only put pen to paper on a new deal at the Estádio da Luz back in December, and looks to be coming for considerably lower than his €45m buy-out clause.

According to MARCA, the transfer has been negotiated within the last two weeks and is now complete, and although details are still unclear, this is most likely another move facilitated by the notorious Jorge Mendes.

Formerly of Boca Juniors in Argentina, Gaitán signed for Benfica in 2010 and soon established himself as a key player, with 41 goals in 253 matches in total for the club.

He plays mainly as a wide midfielder, and is known for his hard-work and creativity. Atleti fans may remember him scoring at the Calderón in Os Águias’ Champions League win last September.

Back in 2014, he and Jan Oblak were teammates as Benfica did a domestic treble, and it looks now as if he is set to follow the Slovenian ‘keeper to Madrid after 10 trophies in six seasons.

Ángel Correa, Matías Kranevitter and Augusto Fernández also know him from the Argentina national team, who he has been called to represent in the Copa América Centenario this summer.

If the the transfer does go ahead as expected, he will become Atlético’s fourth most expensive signing after Radamel Falcao, Jackson Martínez and Antoine Griezmann.

Would you be happy with Gaitán? Where does he fit into the current team?


  • Randy Ved Jawahir

    Experienced, In his prime, tricky,a work horse, creative, argentine and relatively cheap. Fantastic signing. But someone may have to go and sadly I think it’ll be oliver

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    It’s hard for me to believe that a club like Benfica, a Portuguese one that really knows how to sell will let a player like Gaitan leave for only 25 million .
    Not because he is worth more, I think 25 M is a fair price for him, I actually was strongly against paying the 45 million that Benfica -reportedly- asked for last season, he is a good player, but for me, he is not a 45-million player, but because these days there are many clubs who 45 million mean nothing to them, and Benfica is one of the clubs that knows how to take advantage of those rich idiots .

    But if we got him for 25 M then it’s a great deal, even if we included some players in it like Jimenez and Silvio, we still own Silvio and we still own a share in Jimenez, right ?!
    Sometimes it’s hard to tell with all those Mendes’s players .

    And where would Gaitan fit ?! .. that’s what I have been talking about in the last few days, and that’s what nobody wanted or couldn’t answer when I asked about it .
    For me, it’s very easy, Saul will have to sit on the bench, because I believe Simeone will stick to his two DMs, probably will rotate between Gabi, Tiago & Augusto, and Atleti always play with two strikers, even before Simeone, next season they will be Grizi and probably a new striker, they are talking about Cavani, and Koke is untouchable .

    That’s why I said about Saul : “Jack of trades, master of none”
    He is not better than Koke or Gaitan offensively (despite his moments of brilliance, like the one against Bayern) and he is not better than Gabi, Tiago or Augusto defensively .

    I would love to see Saul in the center alongside one DM -although he needs to improve defensively- but knowing Simeone very well, I don’t think it will happen, at least not too often .
    I would even love to see both Saul & Koke in the center with 4 attacking players in front of them when we are playing a small team and they are defending deeply .
    I don’t think it will happen either .

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Very likely, but in all honesty Óliver’s only argument this season has been the fact he’s a canterano. One goal (against Astana) and three assists in 1,337 minutes of play is nowhere near good enough. For comparison reasons, Correa spent 1,375 minutes on the pitch and his output is eight goals and four assists.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, Oliver is a midfielder while Correa is a striker, but then you could say that Saul is also a midfielder and he has 9 goals and 4 assists, although Saul has played more than twice the number of minutes than Oliver, but fair enough, Oliver’s season was poor .
    But it doesn’t mean at all that he doesn’t deserve a second chance after all what he has shown with Atleti B, with Spain youth teams and with Villarreal & Porto .
    And he needs a second chance with Atleti, a third loan spell will not change anything, he needs to adapt to our style, and surly he can .

    Even with Gaitan we still don’t have many attacking midfielders/wingers, we only have 3, Gaitan, Carrasco & Oliver, while Koke, Saul & Thomas are CMs, for me at least, but what do I know !

    I think Oliver could actually benefit from this Gaitan’s move, someone said here before that Oliver had no one at Atleti to learn from, we had no real AM this season, and he can’t learn from Simeone because he doesn’t know too much about attacking football .
    Koke had Arda & Diego Ribas who helped him, and maybe Gaitan could help Oliver .
    If the impossible happened and Simeone put Koke or Saul in the center, Oliver may have a chance to make a partnership with Gaitan .

    But if Simeone just doesn’t “trust” Oliver then at least put a buyback option and an anti-Barca option in his contract when you sell him .

  • This guy Jorge Mendes…

  • BlasiusMagnus

    i gotta say even with jorge mendes’s involve i still fuckin like this signing!

  • I still remember his finish against us at the Calderón – could be a great signing if true

  • Robertsps21

    Everyone knows he is good enough to play for atleti,but i’m not happy about this.
    What does this mean for Oliver?
    We cant lose him,canterano,s deserve a fair chance and that didn’t happen this year.
    The second problem i have is that Portugese club are riping us off,25m is oke but gaitan is 28.
    We paid far to much for 29 year old Jackson Martinez and we got away with that one,simeone should pay attention to stuff like that.

  • Dircil

    I watched a couple of videos about his playing style and I gotta admit that $25m is a bargain for such kind of player. For sure, he will fit in our system perfectly. Regarding Oliver case, he’s really talented but the problem is he is not a kind of player who can perform well under Simeone’s system. Should we let him go, we need to sell him for a big sum of money. Otherwise we keep loaning him for a couple of seasons and see how he evolves.

  • nandes

    It would be very odd to see Saúl dropping to the bench after the ‘superstar’ status he gained this season

    Seeing what happened with Vietto & Jackson this year we’ll probably end up playing in a 4-4-2 again with Gaitan & Carrasco on the bench

  • atleti10

    This would be awesome. Torres and Griezmann up front, Gaitan – Koke – Gabi – Saul in the middle.

    I think Tiago will play a different role next year given his age, most likely either him or Agusto will play in the away games to shore up the midfield with either Gaitan or Saul dropping to the bench.

    I reckon Thomas and Oliver will leave on loan or permanently. I’d hate to see either if them go but they aren’t ready to start.

  • nandes

    Thomas is pretty much the definition of a great impact sub, if one of the CM/DMs has to go on loan then it should be Kranevitter who still has little experience in La Liga

  • AaX

    Gabi will play alternately Captain with Koke next season. The new central partnership would be Koke and Augusto while Gabi and Tiago will back up to help the transition. Saul, Carrasco, Gaitan and Oliver will play on either wings.

  • AaX

    Gabi will Captain alternately ….

  • Kris

    Sorry…won’t happen as long as Gabi is fit.

  • AaX

    That’s right, except in periods when Koke and Augusto will be physically much fitter which likely is the inevitable case.

  • atleti10

    I think given a full pre season with the team Kranevitter will feature a lot more. He’s clearly got bags of talent, he was pivotal to River and plays quite a lot for Argentina.

  • AndersAT

    Hopefully simeone will change his one starting eleven too two starting elevens, a more offensive with Koke or Saul in the center along with a CM like Gabi, Tiago or Augusto and room for Gaitan or carrasco along with two strikers ,and a more defensive hard working starting eleven like we have seen this season. A bit more rotation would be nice. But good signing I think.

  • thericeking

    no it just wont happen.. it will be Someone | Koke/Augusto/Tiago | Gabi | Someone …. with Koke Replacing ‘Someone’ when he is not in the middle.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    What about Corrasco? Gaitan will have to be the back up for him.