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Report: Gaitan to be loaned to Watford

In Atlético Madrid’s endlessly painful pursuit of Diego Costa, money has to be accumulated in order to afford the striker. At first, it seemed Luciano Vietto may be one of the ones flogged to raise funds, but now Nico Gaitan appears to be out the door.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After doing nearly everything they can to try to land Diego Costa, Atlético have yet to sign the player from Chelsea. The primary argument has been over money, something Atleti don’t have a huge amount of at the moment, given the new stadium as well as contract extensions and the arrival of Vitolo. Several players have been linked with a move as a way to raise funds for the likely very expensive Diego Costa transfer.

It seems now that one of the few options to raise some cash is through fringe squad players. Initially it seemed Luciano Vietto was on his way to Sampdoria for good money, which could still happen, given the departure of Patrick Schick.

However, it now is being reported through several publications that Atleti will look to loan Nico Gaitan to Premier League side Watford, in the hopes of getting a couple million Euros in a loan fee. West Ham have also been mentioned as a possible destination. Earlier in the summer it appeared the registration ban would keep Gaitan around for squad depth, but now Diego Simeone appears to have decided he won’t be necessary.

Certainly the arrival of Vitolo in January will make Gaitan surplus to requirements, but for the time being he could have been a useful player coming off the bench. Ultimately, this will be a money issue, and whether or not Watford will have an option or obligation to buy as well must be worked out. Essentially, Atleti need to let at least one player go and get some cash for them so they can afford the Costa transfer.

Gaitan has looked useful to start the season, but after last season’s disaster of a year it seems unlikely he’ll ever make up for his transfer fee. If he has a good season at Watford though, that could drive up his value if Atleti don’t directly sell him to the Hornets.

With time almost out on the window, it seems Atleti may not get the Costa deal done before the end of the window, but they could still have it agreed in principle until January when they could officially complete it.