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Atletico Madrid defender set to miss Barcelona encounter due to suspension



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid restarted their La Liga campaign on a strong note as they secured a 2-0 victory over Elche at the Civitas Metropolitano. Second-half goals from Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata sealed the win for Diego Simeone’s side, taking them to third place in La Liga.

However, there was a blow for Atletico from the game as they saw defender Mario Hermoso get sent off in the second half, which means that the Spaniard will now miss the Rojiblancos’ next league encounter against Barcelona.

Hermoso started against Elche on Thursday as part of the three-man defensive line alongside Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez.

Five minutes into the second half, the centre-back received his first booking when he brought down Pere Milla in a dangerous position.

Seconds later, the Atletico Madrid defender, in a moment of madness, made a poor sliding challenge on Helibelton Palacios, which resulted in a second yellow and a sending-off for him.

Atletico were playing with a numerical advantage at that point as Elche had already seen one of their players receive his marching orders. Hermoso’s red card meant that the contest became a 10 vs 10, but the Rojiblancos managed to prevail and pick up an important win.

However, they will now be a defender short when they face off against rivals Barcelona in their next league encounter on January 8 at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Hermoso has not been a regular for Simeone this season and has, in fact, made just four appearances in La Liga in 2022/23. So, his absence is unlikely to affect the Rojiblancos a great deal, with Reinildo Mandava the favourite to step into the lineup.

Prior to that, however, Simeone & co. will have a Copa del Rey assignment to take care of as they face Oviedo in the Round of 32 of the competition on January 4, away from home.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder wanted by three La Liga clubs, salary an issue



Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

There is no doubt that Atletico Madrid are bracing themselves for a busy summer ahead as they look to address the future of some of their star players. One of them is Saul Niguez, who has fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone and could leave the club.

A recent report from Mundo Deportivo has offered an update on the future of the Spaniard, suggesting that the player has once again become a market attraction.

The versatile star was on loan at Chelsea last season, but his spell at Stamford Bridge was far from ideal, as he featured in less than 500 minutes of league football. He returned to Atletico Madrid in the summer, and even though he wanted to leave the club, a move did not materialise.

Saul was even linked with a move away from Atleti in January. But Valencia, who were interested in him at the time, could not afford the deal, particularly because of the player’s salary and transfer fees.

The report from Mundo Deportivo states that Valencia have retained their interest in the player. But in addition to Los Che, Saul has been targeted by two other Spanish teams in the form of Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla.

Rayo have expressed the desire to sign Saul in the coming season. But they are likely to face economic difficulties in funding a move for the midfielder. The same can be said for Sevilla.

Saul’s current contract at Atletico Madrid expires in 2026, a deal that was agreed when the player was at his peak. But the long contract has now come back to haunt Atleti, as they desperately look to get rid of the Spanish international.

With his suitors likely to face financial trouble in weighing up a move, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Saul in the coming summer.

Saul is not the only Atletico Madrid player facing an uncertain future, with Axel Witsel’s father also hinting at a possible exit recently.

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