The French World Cup-winning defender signed a new deal with Atlético over the summer that would see him stay at the club until 2024, but the Bundesliga side are ready to offer him a contract for four years as part of a new project under struggling manager Niko Kovac.
Atlético Madrid do reportedly see the January transfer window as an opportunity to sign players, but they will need to sell someone in order to reinforce a stuttering attack. Their layout in the summer, which saw them bring in players such as Gelson Martins from Sporting Clube de Portugal and Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco for a record fee, has not paid off as handsomely as they might have liked.
Diego Simeone’s defence has suffered from too many injuries and Antonio Ruiz has reported that the club has rejected the idea of selling Lucas. If the release clause is paid, however, there is little they can do. It would come down to the player’s wishes, and the 22-year-old is a major part of the team, someone who appreciates everything Atlético have done for him to date — saying so on a number of occasions.
Lucas might also draw from his brother Theo’s experience after he moved to Real Madrid and quickly fell out of favour and form, proving that the supposedly bigger club is not always the best choice when it comes to development.
The elephant in the room is Diego Costa, who is injured for the next number of weeks and who could be subject to an offer from China in January that will test Atlético’s resolve. Simeone does not see him leaving but if an offer they can’t refuse does appear, they would surely have to reinvest that money in a new signing or two, immediately.
Meanwhile, Atlético are said to be interested in signing Nahitez Nandez from Boca Juniors. He is an all-action wide midfielder, who impressed in the Copa Libertadores final against River Plate.