Speaking on AS TV, journalist Jorge Garcia has shed some light on the transfer plans being chalked up by Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone and director Andrea Berta.
The Rojiblancos are well aware that the summer window was far from ideal for the club. And they are keen on remedying that at the earliest possible. And the manager is seeing two areas as his priorities in the market.
The first thing Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to do is sign a new central defender. The Colchoneros have been a pale shadow of their solid selves from the past this time around, with injuries and poor form hampering them.
Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez have been plagued by fitness issues while Felipe and Mario Hermoso are error-prone and inconsistent. The situation has often forced the manager to utilise Axel Witsel in the three-man backline.
Hence, Simeone wants to bring in a centre-back with an eye on the future. And there have already been links to Atalanta’s teenage prospect Giorgio Scalvini.
The next priority on Atletico Madrid’s transfer agenda is to sign Lovro Majer from Rennes. The Croatian international, dubbed the ‘new Luka Modric’, has been on the Spanish capital club’s radar since summer.
Enquiries were also made over a potential move, but Atleti were priced out of a move, with Rennes valuing their midfielder at €60 million. However, the interest in the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder remains intact and Simeone & co. want to sign him up at the next opportunity.
With Koke not getting any younger, Saul’s form declining and Geoffrey Kondogbia being in and out of the side this season, it makes sense for Atletico Madrid to want to sign another quality midfielder to their ranks, and Majer seems to be the top choice for Simeone and Berta.
Whether they can land the midfielder at the second attempt after failing to do so in the summer remains to be seen.
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
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