Happy Boxing Day, everyone! There are a few tidbits to relate from Atlético Madrid World with the club still a week away from returning to competitive action against Lleida in the Copa del Rey. Marquee signings are set to be introduced as rumors surrounding next season’s shirts begin to swirl and the club addressed Diego Simeone’s future. Let’s go:
- Diego Costa and Víctor Machín will be introduced/re-introduced to Atlético supporters during an open training session at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Dec. 31. Costa and Vitolo will be registered to play for the club the following day. Entry for socios (club members) is free, while entry for non-members is €10. Atleti have a friendly against Al-Ahly in Egypt on Dec. 30, and while there was some speculation that the two Spain internationals could take part in that game, it’s almost certain both players will be staying home prior to their unveiling next Sunday.
- Costa’s arrival in particular is expected to start a domino effect wherein Simeone’s unwanted strikers are offloaded onto
unsuspectingmore befitting clubs. Marca say Atlético have already determined that Nicolás Gaitán and Luciano Vietto will depart in January, and AS — citing Portuguese paper A Bola — claim that an agreement to send Vietto on loan with an option to buy is “practically done.” The report says that Sporting Clube de Portgual (better known as Sporting Lisbon) are set to to take the misfiring forward on loan for the rest of the season, and the Liga NOS giants could buy him for €10 million next summer.
- Atlético president Enrique Cerezo granted AS a somewhat extensive interview where he touched upon the stadium move, the Champions League group stage disappointment and Cholo Simeone’s future as manager; he says the Argentine has committed to the club through next season (his contract is up in 2020).
- Finally, the inimitable Footy Headlines has leaked Atleti’s home kit design for next season, which appears to be another striking departure from the traditional red-and-white stripes. Previously, the site leaked info on the 2018-19 away strip, which looks like it will be really, really sharp.