Unsurprisingly, Atletico Madrid’s all-action midfielder, Geoffrey Kondogbia, was a key presence in the side throughout the course of last season.
However, it has been revealed that a Premier League club approached Diego Simeone’s side in a bid to complete his signature.
According to the latest information provided by MARCA (h/t AtletiUniverse), Aston Villa made an attempt to sign Kondogbia on deadline day, but their interest came too late into the summer transfer window.
With Steven Gerrard’s man not afraid to splash the cash, one can safely assume that the issue was far from the English club penny-pinching in their attempts to sign the Central African international.
Instead, Atleti may well have been unwilling to let go of Geoffrey Kondogbia due to how key a presence he remains in the middle of the park.
Just last term, the former Valencia star played the 8th highest minutes in the squad across all competitions, which points to his importance in the side.
Despite Marcos Llorente and new man Axel Witsel’s ability to operate as the defensive midfielder, Diego Simeone may have been miffed with letting a trusted presence depart the side without being able to bring in a replacement.
Ultimately, there is no denying that both Real Madrid and Barcelona have superior squads than Atletico Madrid as a whole.
To add to that, both sides have added a midfielder each, with Aurelien Tchouameni and Franck Kessie joining each other side, respectively.
In order to keep pace with the two giants of Spanish football, letting go of a vital squad player would have been unwise for the Rojiblancos.
While one can have their own opinions on whether Geoffrey Kondogbia would have been an Aston Villa player had an approach been made earlier, Atleti ultimately made the right call by essentially rejecting the offer.
Official: Atletico Madrid sign Tottenham Hotspur defender on a free transfer
Atletico Madrid have made their final move of the winter transfer window, completing the signing of Matt Doherty from Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer.
The Irish international has seen little to no minutes in the league this season, and had his contract mutually terminated by Tottenham before he made the switch to Atletico on deadline day.
This comes on the back of a three-way switch. Spurs signed Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon, who have reportedly replaced him with Hector Bellerin from Barcelona, while enabling Doherty’s switch to La Liga.
This is only Atletico’s second winter transfer for this window. They had signed Memphis Depay earlier this month from Barcelona on a €3 million 2.5-year deal.
That said, they have managed to offload Joao Felix to Chelsea, Mathus Cunha to Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Marcos Paulo to Sao Paolo. Atletico also managed to register Pablo Barrios to the first-team after his impressive displays in the first-half of the season.