This is a summer of mass upheaval at Atletico Madrid which has not been seen before in the Diego Simeone era. A plethora of players have left the club already for pastures new – Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Gelson Martins and Juanfran Torres are among the confirmed exits (while Rodri is set for a move away too) to a squad which was never renowned for its depth.
That has left just 14 outfield players remaining and that is including Antoine Griezmann - who has confirmed he will leave this summer, probably joining Barcelona – and Alvaro Morata, on loan at Chelsea. As for the others, Angel Correa, Vitolo and Nikola Kalinic are all supposedly available for sale. Would the last player left please turn out the lights?
So far, just two arrivals have been confirmed. Central defender Felipe Monteiro has joined from FC Porto in a deal said to be worth in the region of €20m while the other saw Marcos Llorente move across the city from Real Madrid – remarkably meaning three generations of his family have now represented both of the Spanish capital’s main clubs.
A host of other names have been linked to replenish the stock at Los Rojiblancos. Felipe’s former Porto captain Hector Herrera is widely expected to join as a free agent, while Renan Lodi – a highly-rated left-back – is set to arrive officially from Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense.
There are a number of other stars heavily rumoured to be on Atleti’s radar too. Benfica’s teenage sensation Joao Felix is tipped to join if the club can trigger his €120m release clause – having seen their €126m bid in installments rejected last week. He would theoretically replace Griezmann in the attack but he himself represents an eye-watering outlay on a 19-year-old, however gifted he may be.
Croatian forward Ante Rebic – who shone for Eintracht Frankfurt last season – has also been linked and it is expected that at least one more forward alongside Felix will arrive this window. But it is in their defence where the need for reinforcements is greatest. RB Leipzig defender and German youth international Lukas Klostermann has been linked with replacing Juanfran Torres while there are protracted negotiations with Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso – whose contract contains a €40m release clause.
Simeone’s side are set to take on a totally transformed appearance ahead of the next season in what marks a truly new era for this club.
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