It may be Champions League final week, but that doesn't stop the rumor mill from churning. In fact, it probably increases it.
This morning, AS has a story on Luciano Vietto's future - and it reportedly will not involve Atlético Madrid. Vigo-based journalist Clemente Garrido reports that Celta Vigo are negotiating with Atlético for the 22-year-old forward. Said negotiations are apparently at an advanced stage and a deal could be wrapped up and announced after Saturday.
Celta head coach Eduardo Berizzo has ordered five new signings and Vietto is on this shortlist. The Galicians want Vietto on a permanent deal as they begin preparations for the 2016-17 Europa League - which they will enter in the group stage thanks to Barcelona's Copa del Rey win over Sevilla on Sunday. Vietto has already given the green light to joining Celta after he failed to adapt to life at the Vicente Calderón. The report says also that Atleti are willing to sell Vietto but there is a possibility los rojiblancos retain a portion of the player's rights or even a buyback option should he return to his 2014-15 performance levels.
This would be a big deal if it goes through and would clear the way for Atlético to sign at least one new forward this summer (after striking out with the two signed last summer). I've bemoaned Vietto and his lack of production quite a bit the past few months, but I have some genuine sadness for how his season went. He's a talented lad but his prior relationship with Diego Simeone (from their days at Racing in Argentina) did him no favors in the end. Atlético's stylistic demands were too much for him, too soon.
Going forward, regardless of if this move materializes or not, Atleti's recruitment policy must tighten up. Vietto and Jackson Martínez - the other forward brought in to revitalize Simeone's attack last summer - will have both set course for pastures new a year (or less) after joining for an aggregate cost of €56 million. In what is still a bloody brilliant piece of business, Atleti turned a profit on Jackson but will not be so lucky with Vietto. Although this last bit is important to consider this summer, it is not as important this week. Vietto is still on the team and he will continue preparations for Saturday like the rest of his teammates.