The situation at Civitas Metropolitano is grave, and every news from the Atletico Madrid camp just goes on to exemplify the same. The team’s poor results will put uncontrolled pressure on the manager, but there is the economic episode to solve before that.
According to reports from MARCA, Mario Hermoso is a player who has been on the departure list for a while now. The returns from his move would go a long way in balancing Atleti’s books, but the one hurdle to his transfer is the high salary.
The Spaniard is currently earning net wages of €4.4 million per year, which is making it difficult for Atletico Madrid to find suitors for him. On top of that, Hermoso himself is believed to be keen on staying at the club.
Nevertheless, the Rojiblancos have not given up and will not, however complicated it gets. There is a sense of belief that an offer can arrive from the Premier League at any time.
The 27-year-old has barely participated in La Liga for Atletico Madrid this season. Close to halfway through the season, he has played just 120 minutes and has a goal in that duration.
Last season, he made 26 appearances for Simeone’s side and averaged over eight defensive actions per ninety minutes. However, it is clear that something has changed drastically in a year and that the coach no longer favours him as much.
The centre-back signed a five-year deal with the club in 2019 and the contract is set to expire in the month of June 2024.
Given that he will be a free agent in just over a year, this is Atleti’s best chance to get rid of Hermoso. But only time will tell whether Diego Simeone’s side can find a suitor for him in January or the summer window.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.