The January transfer window is fast approaching and it seems we’ve already made our first deals, with Elias set to complete his transfer next week when he arrives in Madrid and Simão leaving on his way to Besiktas.
The big question among the Atlético faithful is whether we’ll sign a replacement for the Portuguese winger. Rakitic, Piatti and Chori Castro are just some of the names that are popping up in the media.
According to several Spanish sources Atlético have identified Osasuna winger Juanfran as the ideal replacement for Simão. The Real Madrid-youth product has a contract in Pamplona until 2012 and a release clause of €10m. But it is said the Valencian will be available for six to nine million euros.
According to AS our primary target remains Rakitic. The Croatian isn’t a natural winger, but is available for much less considering his contract is up in the summer.
The same goes for Valencia’s left sided midfielder Vicente. It is public knowledge that Quique Sánchez Flores is keen on the 29-year old, who hasn’t received an offer from Los Che yet to renew his deal. His club will be reluctant to sell to direct rivals, but are aware that their club icon is surplus to requirements and not in Emery’s plans.
A player that would have suited Atlético very well is Chori Castro. According to El Mundo Deportivo our club even contacted Mallorca for their winger, but his arrival is no longer an option for Atleti. The Uruguayan doesn’t have a Spanish passport and with Elias’ arrival all of our non-EU spots are filled.
Another la Liga player linked to us is Pablo Piatti. The little Argentine has been a menace on Almería’s visits to the Vicente Calderón and has caught the eye of our directors. The 21-year old scored a fantastic brace this weekend against Sevilla and his fine form this season might see him make a move next month.
Another possibility would be to replace our Portuguese with another Portuguese. Málaga winger Eliseu is also said to be on our wishlist.
In the Croatian press a story appeared of Atlético’s interest in Jorge Sammir. The Brazilian forward has scored 10 goals in 15 matches this season for Dinamo Zagreb and has attracted interest from clubs all over Europe. The 23-year old Brazilian can also play on the right wing, which increases his chances of a move to the Manzanares.
Another completely unknown player that was linked to us recently is Ronald Vargas. He’s a Venezuelan midfielder currently playing for Club Brugge in Belgium. Vargas can be used in various positions in midfield, but we face competition for the 24-year old from Villarreal and Valencia among others.
From Italy reports have emerged of our interest in Cagliari forward Alessandro Matri and Torino striker Rolando Bianchi, but we don’t see how Atlético needs another forward with the players we have available and other positions that need to be addressed first.
Speaking of strikers from the Calcio, according to Italian media Juventus have approached Atlético for the transfer of Diego Forlán. The Old Lady have had the Uruguayan in their sights for a while, and are willing to offer Tiago and Amauri in exchange. The Bianconeri are even willing to include an extra €7m to sweeten the deal.
Raúl García could also be on his way to the Serie A, says AS journalist Manolete. Italian champions Inter are plagued by injuries and coach Rafa Benítez is reportedly looking to reinforce his midfield. An €8m offer would surely convince our directors to start negotiations for Raúl’s transfer.
Someone to possibly replace the former-Osasuna midfielder is Javi Márquez. The Espanyol youngster is having his breakthrough season and greatly impressed in the Vicente Calderón two weeks ago. But Los Pericos will do everything to keep Márquez on board at least until the end of the season.
Another young player from Espanyol that is attracting interest from a lot of clubs in and outside of Spain is centre back Víctor Ruiz. We seem to be well covered in that area, but that doesn’t stop AS from mentioning Atleti as a pursuer with Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal and many Italian clubs also keeping an eye on the 21-year old.
That said, we were also linked to defender Diego Colotto. We think the 29-year old was only linked to Atlético as we were playing Deportivo on the weekend, but the Argentine has been in fine form this season. The centre back has a contract until 2012 in the Riazor, but Atlético know from recent history it can be a pain to negotiate a transfer with Depor president Lendoiro.
The rumours once more confirm that Juanito is on his way out. The 34-year old’s contract runs out in the summer, but Atleti hope we can get rid of him in the coming transfer window. Real Zaragoza are in desperate need of an experienced centre back and would make us very happy indeed if they took on the former Spanish international.
Zaragoza are also tracking Ignacio Camacho. Newly appointed Javier Aguirre was the one who handed Nacho his debut in March 2008 and now wants to bring the midfielder to la Romareda. He is facing competition from Levante however, who also hope to sign Camacho in January, be it a permanent transfer or a loan deal. A move away from the Vicente Calderón seems the wisest decision for the popular youngster, as he hasn’t featured a single minute in our current la Liga campaign. His contract is up in the summer and Camacho will want to play himself into the plans for other interested Spanish clubs.
The last rumours of the day involve two goalkeepers. We expect Sergio Asenjo to feature in this section more often the coming period, as the youngster is simply too good to sit on the bench in the Vicente Calderón. Many Spanish clubs are interested in taking on the goalkeeper, with Málaga seemingly a likely destination. The Anchovies want to take Asenjo on loan, and hope to include an option to purchase in the deal. Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Hércules meanwhile are monitoring the situation.
If we’re to believe reports in the English media then Manuel Almunia could be Asenjo’s replacement. The 33-year old has lost his spot in Arsenal’s first team and could leave London for €2m.
With that we conclude this week’s rumours roundup. Expect many, many more reports in the coming weeks!