If today’s reports of a deal for Turkish midfielder Arda Turan have any basis in fact, they may be an indicator of what Atleti plans to do with Eduardo Salvio, another promising young talent, currently on loan at Benfica.
The Argentine forward failed to impress during his short stint with Atleti last season and was shipped to the Portguese league on a one year deal that came with a hefty €15m buy-out option.
At the time, no one in their right mind could have imagined that the Portuguese side would be willing to shell out that amount of cash just a year later, but the 20-year old has been a hit in Lisbon, netting four times in 17 league appearances, twice in the Europa League and two times in domestic cup action for a total of eight goals this season.
Word has it that Benfica officials are trying to get a reduction on the former Lanús man’s price tag, and are apparently willing to take him to Portugal permanently if they can lower the price.
Atleti directors are said to be unwilling to accept anything less than €15m, but given los Rojiblancos’ non-EU passport situation and Turan’s reported fee of €12m, they may be willing to negotiate a discount.
Currently, Diego Godín, Elias and Diego Costa occupy los Rojiblancos’ three permitted non-EU slots. Godín is set to get his Spanish passport before next season, and Diego Costa looks to be on his way out, with Mallorca a leading suitor for his services.
Elias and countryman Miranda, who has confirmed an agreement to join Atlético from Sao Paulo this summer, are expected to take up two of next year’s three non-EU openings, allowing for one more ‘foreigner’ to join the squad.
The only way Turan’s signing would make sense is if Salvio is sold to Benfica, as neither holds a European passport.
Who do you want to see fill our three non-EU spots for next season? Let us know in the comments!