According to the club’s officials Atlético will not be making any new signings in the January transfer window.
That won’t stop the papers from linking us to new players though. We’ve summarised some of this week’s stories, from the realistic to the ridiculous:
Most fans agree that Atleti need an offensive reinforcement, so it comes as no surprise that the names floating around are all forwards and wingers.
Earlier we reported of Quique’s interest in Celta’s Roberto Trashorras. Newspaper AS reports that Atlético was ready to open negotiations for the winger/playmaker, but have decided to postpone talks with Celta until the end of December. The Galicians are willing to listen to our offer, as they are interested in taking some of our youngsters on loan.
Another low profile signing would be that of Diego Castro. The Sporting striker will be out of contract in the summer and has multiple Spanish clubs chasing him.
Atlético has signed a number of free agents over the last few seasons, so it comes as no surprise that we’re looking to snap up more additions on the cheap. We missed out on Ibrahim Afellay, but have now focused our attention on Ivan Rakitic. The Schalke 04 midfielder has been forced out of the team in Gelsenkirchen, by Jurado among others, and is reluctant to sign a new contract. The Croatian is young and versatile, and according to his agent, Rakitic is looking to continue his career in Spain or Italy.
Another Bundesliga player that apparently interests Atlético is Edin Dzeko. The striker is hot property, with other European elite clubs such as Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool also chasing the Bosnian. The hefty pricetag Wolfsburg have slapped around his neck will most likely rule out the Vicente Calderón as a possible destination for Dzeko.
However, even more random seems the story of Atlético’s alleged bid for Romelu Lukaku. The highly rated young Belgian won’t leave for anything less than €20m, according to Anderlecht’s chairman, but A Bola reports we have made a €15m offer. The fact that the source is a Portuguese paper makes us wonder where they got their information.
One more forward to add to the increasingly long wishlist is Nelson Haedo Valdez. The Paraguyan only joined Hércules this past summer, but has made an impression on Quique Sánchez Flores, who particularly likes Valdez’ speed and eye for goal. He has a release clause of €5m, but his wages of €1.5m a year could be a stumbling block.
We’ve kept the best for last, because Sergio Araujo surely is the hottest prospect of today’s roundup. The young Argentine showed flashes of his incredible talent during the U17 World Cup last year and seems to be a similar player to Kun Agüero. At just 18 he is already part of Boca Juniors’ first team and Araujo netted his first goal in the Argentinian top league ten days ago. Los Xeneizes apparently are willing to listen to offers from €15m, but Atleti might be hesitant to splash out that kind of money, keeping in mind that Eduardo Salvio’s transfer hasn’t been a success thus far.
Of course we can’t go a week without news regarding Diego Forlán, but this week his possible destination seems an unlikely one. Reports from Brazil link the Uruguayan striker to Corinthians, Flamengo and Sao Paulo. According to Globo Esporte, Flamengo will do their best to convince Forlán to join them in their centenary year. Flamengo coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo however, has already denied these reports.
The last two rumours in this roundup are regarding two centre-backs who have known better times in the Vicente Calderón. Álvaro Domínguez was dropped by Quique recently, but despite his poor form FC Bayern Münich are said to be interested in the young Madrilenian. Der Rekordmeister want to get rid of Martín Demichelis and are willing to spend €13m on his replacement, according to El Mundo Deportivo.
Marca however state that Domínguez’ agents haven’t received any offers, and Bild claimed that reports of Bayern’s alleged interest were false.
One departure we’re keener on than that of Domínguez, is the inevitable goodbye of Juanito. The 34-year old centre-back is in his last months with Atlético, because his contract surely won’t be extended. In the summer the club was willing to let him go for free, but the defender’s high wage demands blocked moves to any interested Spanish clubs. Juanito told Efe this week that he still has three or four more years in him, and that he is getting frustrated by the lack of playing time he’s given under Quique’s reign.
The former Spanish international admitted no club has shown an interest in him yet, but added that he wouldn’t mind to move away in January.