Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Atlético Madrid? /drools
We begin this roundup with one of the best rumors I’ve seen in a while. Sport claim that Diego Simeone wants to sign Zlatan freaking Ibrahimović when Atlético’s transfer ban expires in January. The 35-year-old sustained a serious knee injury in April that ended his season at Manchester United, but it is believed he will reach full fitness by the time 2018 rolls around.
Simeone sees a lot of Christian Vieri in Ibrahimović, hence his interest in signing him. Vieri, the well-traveled Italian forward, played a solitary season for Atlético in 1997-98 before moving to Lazio, but he scored 24 times in 24 games to win the Pichichi.
(It’s worth pointing out Simeone was at Inter Milan during Vieri’s time in Madrid, but whatever, let’s not let facts get in the way.)
Robbie wrote more on this topic earlier and how Zlatan’s signing would make sense for both parties. But Atlético would have to contend with the Swede’s huge wages and his drama-loving agent Mino Raiola if those two in fact want to engineer the player’s move to A Stadium Called Wanda. In addition, Atleti are pursuing Diego Costa and are said to have an agreement with the player already. If Costa and Ibrahimović were to sign for January, they would create a “too many cooks” scenario, as they would join a strike force including - as of now - Antoine Griezmann, Kévin Gameiro, Ángel Correa, Fernando Torres and at least one forward returning from loan.
As much as I love Zlatan (he’s one of my favorite footballers and “I Am Zlatan” is essential football reading), there are many more reasons to disregard this rumor than to roll with it.
Barcelona want Saúl Ñíguez
Switching gears now, our friends at Barça Blaugranes relayed a report from AS that Barcelona wish to sign Saúl in the event its much-ballyhooed pursuit of Paris-Saint Germain midfielder Marco Verratti falls through.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. Saúl HAS PEED BLOOD defending the red and white of Atlético. Under his current contract, he’d cost Barça €80 million. Atleti cannot replace him until January. He’s set to renew after he gets done playing/winning the U-21 Euros with Spain. Have I mentioned he’s played through a kidney injury serious enough to land mere mortals in the hospital and wouldn’t leave Atleti unless Barça pulled a Stannis Baratheon at King’s Landing and tried to steal him in the middle of the night?
(AND EVEN THAT STRATEGY FAILED!)
Matías Kranevitter determined to succeed at Atlético
Mundo Deportivo have quotes from a Matías Kranevitter interview for TyC Sports in Argentina, wherein the 24-year-old midfielder declares he wants to be a hit at A Stadium Called Wanda following an inconsistent loan spell at Sevilla.
“I’d like a rematch at Atlético,” Kranevitter said. “It is a top club that has treated me well...I have many friends in the team, so I’d succeed.”
The Argentine also has designs on playing for Jorge Sampaoli in the 2018 World Cup, and he should get plenty of chances to show that he deserves a place with the national side. Simeone is going to count on his compatriot in 2017-18, as Gabi turns 34 next month and Augusto Fernández returns after knee surgery. Low key, Krane is one of Atlético’s most important players entering next season.
Jesús Gil took over Atlético on this date 30 years ago
Within 15 years of becoming Atleti’s president, Gil plunged the club into financial hell and got it relegated for the first time in history. For more on Gil the president and Gil the man, check out Sarthak Kumar’s awesome piece on him from April.