Usually it’s during the transfer window that the rumour mill is working overtime, but the papers have to keep the presses rolling even during the season, which has brought us some interesting stories.
From England stories emerged of Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in signing both Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero. In January Harry Redknapp’s side made a move for the duo separately, but according to The Guardian they would now be willing to offer £40m for the whole package. The rumour came two days after Forlán was linked to a lucrative deal in Chechnya.
Our forwards aren’t the only players who have attracted fans outside of the Spanish borders. This week a story surfaced of a possible departure for José Antonio Reyes to Inter or Besiktas. The Turks can be considered the Galacticos from the Bosphorus by signing players such as Nihat, Guti, Quaresma and Simão. Just like our neighbours here in Madrid it seems success can’t be bought, as Besiktas, with Bernd Schuster in charge, sit in a disappointing sixth position in the Süper Lig. Meanwhile the holders of the Champions League see Reyes as the perfect replacement for Goran Pandev who has not been able to replicate the form he showed for Inter last season.
If one of our players were to leave then he will most likely be replaced by a youngster from South America. Erik Lamela is consistently being linked to Atlético and our Sports Director Jesús García Pítarch is reported to travel to Argentina next month to discuss a possible transfer with River Plate. The Millonarios are holding out for €20m, the buy-out clause from Lamela’s contract.
There’s another youngster that could serve as an alternative to Lamela, but it’s doubtful whether Lucas will be any cheaper than the Argentine. The playmaker greatly impressed for Brazil during last month’s South American U20 Championship, but the 18-year old has signed a new contract with Sao Paulo which has slapped a €78m price tag around his head.
Let’s not forget that we signed a South American prodigy last year. Although he failed to impress in Madrid, it seems Eduardo Salvio is now making a name for himself in the Portuguese league. Benfica are so impressed by the Argentine winger that they want to sign him on a permanent deal. One of their representatives was in Madrid to negotiate the €15m fee that Atlético are demanding. We’re not willing to let him go for anything less however and Benfica are now considering the option of taking Salvio on loan for another season, but it seems unlikely Atleti will be satisfied with that proposal.
In the summer we will undoubtely search the market for a new right back and one candidate seems to be Sporting Gijón’s Alberto Lora. The 23-year old came through Real Madrid’s youth system but joined Sporting in 2006, where he was converted from a midfielder into their starting right back.
Which of these rumours do you think are the most likely? Do we need more South American prospects?