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Simeone’s top transfer objectives at Atletico Madrid: €60m midfielder, a new centre-back



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

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.

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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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