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Report: Five players on Atletico Madrid’s radar for next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid have had a mixed season so far, but have undoubtedly been far from their best. Despite making it to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League, the defending champions have dropped to fourth place on the league standings.

Looking ahead to next season, Diego Simeone’s side hope for a renovation of their squad. With many players on the wrong side of 30, it is the optimal time to bring in young blood. Fichajes reveal five players who are on Los Rojiblancos’ radar for next season.

The first player on Simeone’s wishlist is Paulo Dybala. The Argentine is on the final year of his contract and does not intend to renew with Juventus. He will be a free agent come June, and the idea of snapping up a player of such high quality without a transfer fee appeals to the Atletico Madrid offices.

In 19 league starts this season, Dybala has scored eight goals and provided five assists for the Bianconeri. He averages 1.5 key passes per game and has created ten big chances.

The other forward Los Rojiblancos are targetting is Darwin Nunez. In just 19 league starts, the Benfica star has 20 goals and two asissts in 2021-22.

The Portuguese side ask €50 million for his signing, which is the only significant hurdle in Simeone’s way. However, Nunez is a player who could replace Luis Suarez and be the team’s next killer striker.

Matty Cash is the third player on the wishlist. The departure of Kieran Tripper has left the team short-staffed at right-back, a void which the Aston Villa player can fill. The Spanish side are prepared to offer up to €40 million to bring in the full-back.

The next reinforcement eyed by the Madrid-based side is in midfield. Santiago Comesaña has been one of Iraola’s fundamental pillars at Rayo Vallecano this season.

The Spaniard’s consistent performances in the middle of the park have not gone unnoticed, and Atletico Madrid are just one of the several teams eyeing his signature. He could be valuable as a replacement for Koke who is now 30 years of age.

The final name on the list is José Campaña. The midfielder has been one of Levante’s better players in a disastrous season had has proven to be reliable defensively too. If the Valencia-based side suffer relegation, Diego Simeone could get his target for a bargain.

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Atletico Madrid News

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

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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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