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Atletico Madrid, Tottenham interested in signing Serie A defender for free in the summer



Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij is set to become a hot commodity in the summer transfer window as he will become a free agent at the end of the season. And, Atletico Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have shown an interest in signing the 30-year-old.

This claim comes from Dutch publication Voetbal International, who are reporting that the Netherlands international is not considering an exit in the January transfer window, while an extension with Inter Milan is not off the table either.

Atletico Madrid are in the market for defensive reinforcements following their failings at the back this season. Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez have struggled with injuries while Felipe and Mario Hermoso have been made available for transfers.

With the latter two expected to leave either in January or in the summer, Los Colchoneros need to bring in reinforcements at the back.

An agreement to sign Caglar Soyuncu from Leicester City on a free transfer is reportedly close. And, Diego Simeone’s side could make an attempt to engineer a similar deal for de Vrij as well, although they will have to face competition from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Premier League giants are managed by Antonio Conte, who worked with the Dutchman at Inter Milan. It could count in their favour when the defender comes down to choosing a new destination for himself in the summer.

De Vrij’s agent, Federico Pastorello recently claimed that he expects many offers for the 30-year-old, while also confirming that a January exit was off the table.

“There will be no shortage of offers. Given his age and his thoughtful character, all aspects are important. February, March is a good time to make certain choices. We are absolutely not thinking of leaving in January,” he said.

De Vrij has been with Inter Milan since 2018 and is one of the most reliable centre-backs in Serie A.

A seasoned campaigner who is adept at playing in a back-four or a three-man defensive unit, he would be a top signing for any club. Whether Atletico Madrid make any moves to snap him up next summer will be interesting to see.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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