Atletico Madrid News
Xavi expects Lewandowski to be available for Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: “We are confident’
Thirteen points separate fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and league leaders FC Barcelona heading into Matchday 16 of La Liga. The next round of fixtures will see the two giants lock horns and provide Diego Simeone with a good chance to bridge the gap with the Blaugrana.
Ahead of the clash, however, Xavi Hernandez’s men have been handed a big boost. As revealed by the Barcelona manager himself in his press conference earlier today, Robert Lewandowski could be available for selection at Civitas Metropolitano later this week.
The Polish International was sent off during Barcelona’s game against Osasuna just before the World Cup and was handed a three-game suspension for allegedly mocking the referee.
However, the La Liga leaders’ appeal to the Central Contentious Court of Madrid led to his suspension being temporarily lifted until the matter was investigated.
As a result, Lewandowski played Barcelona’s 1-1 draw to Espanyol at the weekend. With the court giving to judgement yet, his exclusion against Atletico Madrid will also seemingly be withheld.
“We are confident that he can continue with the precautionary measure and play against Atlético Madrid,” Xavi said in his pre-match presser ahead of the Copa del Rey clash vs Intercity CF.
The former Bayern Munich striker is La Liga’s top scorer this season with thirteen goals in just 14 starts. He also leads the league’s G+A tally with 17.
Needless to say, his inclusion against Los Rojiblancos is a big blow to the team’s chances. After all, the Catalans have been heavily dependent on the striker for goals this season and would have a relatively blunt attack in his absence.
It remains to be seen if the court makes a decision before the end of the week, for that could turn the tide in the hosts’ favour.
Atletico Madrid News
Atletico Madrid among clubs weighing up a summer move for €20 million Barcelona defender
Having successfully raided FC Barcelona for the signing of Memphis Depay during the January transfer window, Atletico Madrid could look to bring in another player from Spotify Camp Nou come summer.
Indeed, according to SPORT, Atletico are among clubs who are interested in signing Barcelona ace Sergino Dest, who is currently away on loan at AC Milan.
Dest has been out of favour at Barça since Xavi Hernandez arrived at the club back in November 2021. The USMNT right-back was sent out on loan to Milan last summer so that he can play regularly.
The Rossoneri have the option of signing the ex-Ajax man permanently for €20 million, but are unlikely to take it up as the right-back has largely underwhelmed during his time in Italy, playing just 14 games in all competitions.
But, that has seemingly not deterred clubs in La Liga, including Atletico Madrid, who are reportedly willing to take a punt on Dest in the summer.
As things stand, Atletico have Nahuel Molina as their primary right-back, but the Argentine has not been consistent enough in his debut season at the club.
Matt Doherty arrived on a free transfer from Tottenham in January but has only played 12 minutes so far, indicating where he stands in Diego Simeone’s scheme. So, a new right-back might not entirely be ruled out at the Civitas Metropolitano come summer.
Dest, though, is also attracting interest from Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal, while an unnamed MLS club also want the right-back.
Barcelona, for their part, wish to recoup the €20 million they spent on him almost three years ago, which could become a roadblock for Atletico Madrid if they do indeed pursue the right-back with greater intent.
As things stand, there is just initial interest and there is nothing concrete from Atletico or any clubs. Only time will tell if that changes once Dest returns from his loan spell.