According to several media sources both in Spain and Colombia, Atlético are very close to finalising a deal for Porto striker Radamel Falcao García.
Journalist Diego Rueda of Caracol Radio, one of Colombia’s main radio networks, denied claims made earlier this week in the Portuguese press suggesting Falcao had agreed to a move to Real Madrid for the 2012/13 season.
“I have spoken to sources regarding Falcao and [reports about his move to] Real Madrid. It isn’t true and the player is a step away from joining Atlético Madrid,” Rueda said via Twitter on Wednesday.
Late Thursday evening, the journalist assured “only minor details need to be resolved before Falcao joins Atlético”.
Spanish reporter Pepe Carpintero of Radio Marca, who also took to Twitter, corroborated those claims on Thursday.
“[Jorge] Mendes has worked hard to make the [Falcao] signing happen. Only clauses and variables need to be approved,” wrote Carpintero.
“He will be a Rojiblanco for €30 million. Salvio might be included. [Porto] don’t want Elias.”
On Friday, Manuel Esteban of Spanish paper AS, claimed that the agreement between Atlético and Porto for the Colombia international is “almost complete for a price between €25 to €30 million plus Salvio.”
Esteban also reports that Porto president Pinto da Costa even has a replacement lined up for Falcao in Fenerbahçe’s Mamadou Niang.
According to the AS reporter, the only thing holding up the deal from going through is that Pinto da Costa wants guarantees that his club will receive the full payment up front.
Radio Marca also shed light on the status of some of our other targets on Thursday.
Prior to Atlético’s offer withdrawal for Antoine Griezmann because of an apparent “non-aggression pact” between Gil Marín and Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay, the Frenchman’s agents were reportedly promised by Aperribay that an agreement with Atleti would be accepted and the youngster would be allowed to leave.
Fearing backlash from the fans if their prized asset were to be sold, la Real refused to honour their word.
With regard to Diego, Wolfsburg have set his price tag at €7 million, but his refusal to accept a salary decrease is the only thing keeping him from the Vicente Calderón.
With the signing of Arda Turan, the Brazilian is no longer a priority for Caminero and crew, though a move to Atleti should not be ruled out just yet.
Finally, Atlético have reportedly made an offer for Real Zaragoza winger Ángel Lafita.
According to AS, los Colchoneros have contacted Lafita’s agent Manuel García Quilón about their interest in the 27-year-old.
Atleti are believed be bidding €1.5 million plus a player, rumoured to be Fran Mérida, for the Zaragoza youth system product.
It is unclear if Fran would be going to Zaragoza on loan or transferred outright with a possible buy-back option.