Atlético starts the new season with player checkups on July 4th before our traditional pre-season training sessions at Los Ángeles de San Rafael.
New Atlético coach Gregorio Manzano unfortunately won’t have all players at his disposal with Agüero, Elias, Forlán, Godín and Perea all in action at the Copa América. The South American championships end on the 24th of July.
Young striker Borja González will also be missing – he’s been called up by Spain U19 for the European Championships. The national team gets together from the 4th until the 15th of July, after which the final selection for the tournament is announced.
Meanwhile we’re still waiting for news regarding Adrián, whose future lies in the hands of a judge who decides whether Deportivo have legitimately applied a clause to keep him at the Galician club a year longer. It is unknown when the court ruling will take place, and the winner of the Golden Player and Golden Boot awards at the recent European U21 Championships might also take 3 weeks off as a vacation after playing in Denmark until last weekend.
This leaves Manzano with just one striker, Diego Costa. The Brazilian, however, is expected to leave the club because of his extracomunitario status. He may be one non-EU player too many.
All of these absentees will hinder Goyo’s pre-season plans, especially because he intends to introduce a 4-3-3 system. It now seems doubtful he will even have three forwards available.
There is another striker on our books, Germán Pacheco, but Hernán Reguera, who is also Kun’s agent, was at the Vicente Calderón yesterday to discuss his client’s future. Pacheco has one year remaining on his contract but does not seem to be in our plans.
Koke, Jorge Pulido and possibly Joel are expected to receive a call up for Spain U20’s World Cup squad, leaving the Atleti squad even shorter. The tournament in Colombia kicks of on the 30th of July.