With an eye toward the future, Atlético Madrid have joined a host of clubs linked to Boca Juniors midfielder Nahitan Nández. The mattress-makers’ pursuit was first reported by ESPN and later corroborated by Madrid-based AS.
Diego Simeone was on hand for Boca Juniors’ runner-up performance in the Copa Libertadores final at the Santiago Bernabeu and he now has his eye on the Argentine side’s 22-year-old star.
Nández quickly found his way into Boca’s starting XI after he joined from Peñarol last season. He has featured in ten matches this season, starting seven. The Uruguay international provided a key pass to set up Dario Bendetto’s goal in the 44th minute of the final’s second leg, which gave Boca an early lead. They eventually won the match 3-1.
Nández is under contract until June 2020 and Boca has set his release clause at about €25 million. That number could certainly go up with Inter Milan reported as Atlético’s main competition. Nández possesses Italian nationality, which could Inter the frontrunner for his services. Newcastle United have also shown interest per reports.
ESPN´s report also mentioned the rave reviews of fellow Uruguayans Diego Godin and José Giménez. They encouraged Nández’s signing as he would add depth to an already impressive midfield. He has mostly played as a center midfielder in manager Guillermo Barros´4-3-3 system, but has also played right midfielder and defensive midfielder. That versatility would be welcome and a challenge for Simeone’s current quartet of Koke, Rodri, Saúl and Thomas Partey.