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Atletico Madrid looking at 22-year-old Portuguese forward as Depay alternative – report

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Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid are leaving no stone unturned to sign a high-level replacement for Joao Felix in the ongoing winter transfer market. Though they are in desperate need of a forward, the club remain strong in their position that they will not go overboard.

Barcelona’s Memphis Depay is seen as the best option available at the Rojiblancos’ disposal, but the chances of the deal going through reduce with each passing day.

According to reports from Toni Juanmarti, Atletico Madrid assure that they will not pay a dime for the Dutchman’s signing from Barcelona. Further, if the Catalans continue to place the economic hurdle, they will go after Vitinha from S.C. Braga whom they see as a suitable alternative on loan.

Atletico’s view of not paying for Depay is reasonable in that the player will be a free agent in June. Given his exclusion from Xavi Hernandez’s plans and the mere six months on his deal, the Madrid-based side feel they should be able to sign him for nothing.

However, one cannot fault the Blaugranas’ standpoint either. Since Depay is contractually bound as a Barcelona player, the club have every right to demand a transfer fee for their asset, with the Catalans seeking €7 million or Yannick Carrasco in exchange.

The spotlight now, thus, seems to be shifting onto Vitinha. The 22-year-old Braga centre-forward has been in good nick this term. In 16 Primeira Liga games so far this season, he has been explosive with six goals and three assists in addition to three big chances created.

His contract in Portugal runs until the summer of 2027 and could pose a big hurdle in his acquisition if they wish for a permanent transfer. The combination of two factors will likely inflate his value, even on loan, and it remains to be seen if the Colchoneros are willing to push that far.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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