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Atletico Madrid offer stiff competition to Barcelona in pursuit of Spanish international

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The race for Inigo Martinez’s signature has heated up in recent weeks, with Atletico Madrid entering the fray to compete with Barcelona for the defender’s services. Martinez’s contract with Athletic Club is set to expire at the end of the season, and both clubs are looking to sign the experienced centre-back on a free transfer.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is keen to strengthen his defensive options after the departure of Felipe and the uncertain futures of some of his other defensive stars. Jose Maria Gimenez, for one, has been linked with a move to Inter Milan.

Martinez, who has been a consistent performer in La Liga for many years, would provide valuable experience and depth to Atletico’s backline.

According to SPORT, Martinez’s wife has been looking for apartments in Barcelona, with the player even completing his medical in the city a few weeks ago.

But Atletico Madrid are not giving up on their pursuit of the player. The club are said to be waiting in the wings and ready to pounce on any opportunity that arises.

Martinez is known for his ability to read the game well, and his physicality and aerial prowess make him a dominant presence. Atletico Madrid, who are known for their strong defence, could certainly benefit from Martinez’s skills and experience.

Furthermore, Barcelona’s poor financial condition may work in the favour of Atleti, as the Catalans must make space in their salary budget before they can sign Martinez.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see whether or not Atletico Madrid can really push forward to hijack the deal in the coming weeks.

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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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