With Joao Felix’s loan move to Chelsea all but done, Atletico Madrid are on the lookout for a replacement for the Portuguese forward. And they have seemingly landed on Barcelona star Memphis Depay as one of their preferred targets.
The Netherlands international is no longer an important cog in the scheme of things at Camp Nou. And with his contract expiring in the summer, an exit in January was always on the cards.
There has been interest in the 28-year-old from clubs in the Premier League and Serie A in the past. But Atletico Madrid are understood to be confident about convincing Depay to move to the Civitas Metropolitano.
However, any move will hinge on how talks with Barcelona pan out. As per reports on Tuesday, Los Rojiblancos would prefer a loan deal until the end of the season, but Barça are unlikely to consider offloading him without any financial compensation.
To that end, journalist Jose Alvarez is reporting that the current La Liga leaders are holding out for a fee of €10 million for Depay, as Atletico Madrid look to make their move.
Los Rojiblancos are set to pocket a total of €11 million from Chelsea from the loan deal for Felix. Meeting Barcelona’s demands for Depay would mean reinvesting almost everything they receive from that operation.
Considering that Depay has just six months left on his contract with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid could deem the fees being asked as excessive.
And, they have other options on their radars such as Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach, whose contract situation is similar to that of Depay, while Borja Iglesias (Real Betis) and Enes Unal (Getafe) are also on the agenda.
So, it remains to be seen how things pan out between Atletico and Barcelona with regard to the transfer of Depay, with further talks expected to take place this week.
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.