Atletico Madrid are infamous for their relentless defensive line, often frustrating the opponents with a low block. The same happened when Diego Simeone’s side faced off Manchester City in the Champions League earlier this week.
One would expect Los Rojiblancos to have numerous backups in defence given their style of play. However, that is not the case at right-back.
While Mario Hermoso, Reinildo, and Renan Lodi compete for one spot at left-back, Sime Vrsaljko has no direct backup on the other end of defence. Given that the Croatian is already 30, the club are actively eyeing reinforcements to provide cover to his position.
According to reports from Daniele Longo of Calcio Mercato, the Madrid-based side are eyeing Nahuel Molina of Udinese as a possible signing.
The Argentine has started 23 Serie A games for his side this season, scoring six goals and providing one assist. He averages one key pass per game and has created four big chances so far in the league alone.
Defensively, he produces one tackle, a clearance, 0.7 interceptions, and 2.5 duels won per 90 minutes.
Juventus too are interested in the 24-year-old’s signature. Udinese demand a fee of €30 million for their defender, a generous ask in today’s inflated market.
It remains to be seen if Molina prefers a move within Italy or opts for a move to Spain. The Bianconeri are said to be leading the race for the right-back, but an improved offer from Atletico Madrid could see the tables turn.
Stats via Transfermarkt
Atletico Madrid will try to sign Arsenal, Liverpool target for free in the summer
Atletico Madrid saw a lot of movement during the January transfer window as they saw several players leave, while also bringing in a couple of new faces in.
But one player who they tried to sign and could not is Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram.
Indeed, according to AS, was on the top of director Andrea Berta’s list for the winter window as he is in the final six months of his contract. But, Gladbach asked for a fee of around €10-12 million to offload him, which prompted Atletico Madrid to move for Depay instead.
But the report states that Thuram continues to be on the agenda at the Civitas Metropolitano and Berta will try to sign him again in the summer transfer window.
However, there will be intense competition for the 25-year-old’s services given that he will be available for a free transfer at the end of the season.
Juventus and Inter Milan have shown an interest in Thuram, but there are a lot of clubs in England wishing to sign him up.
Indeed, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be gunning for the French forward’s signing while more clubs could join the list of his suitors as days progress.
So, it will be important for Atletico Madrid to achieve a top-four finish in La Liga and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for next season if they wish to attract a player of Thuram’s capability and calibre.
The 25-year-old has netted 13 goals and set up four more in 19 matches across all competitions. His ability to play anywhere across the frontline makes him an attractive prospect for interested parties such as Atletico.
But given the intense competition, Diego Simeone & co. will need to act swiftly if they wish to sign Thuram.