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The Weekly Rojiblanco: Stuttgart friendly caps slow week

Get caught up on complete — and incomplete — transfers and more.

Paris Saint Germain v Club Atletico de Madrid - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC

Top Story: VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Atlético Madrid

Los colchoneros’ preseason continued in earnest on Sunday — and while Diego Simeone’s troops have yet to win a friendly in 90 minutes, his players showed more positive signs at Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Thomas Lemar and Gelson Martins were handed their debuts and several stalwarts returned as Atlético shared the spoils in Stuttgart — check out some highlights from their afternoon in the embedded tweet below. Atleti missed some chances in the first half and fell behind on 58 minutes through a Daniel Didavi penalty. But two minutes later, Juvenil star Joaquín Muñoz scored from outside the box — and Antonio Adán’s goalkeeping kept the result intact.

Next up, Atleti play Cagliari in Italy on Aug. 8.

Atleti XI: Adán; Juanfran (Joaquín 46’), Montero, Tachi, Olabe (Solano 60’); Rodri, Saúl (Borja Garcés 46’), Koke (Mikel Carro 46’), Gelson (Carlos Muñoz 46’); Correa (Puñal 69’), Lemar (Mollejo 46’).

ICYMI

  • Following Šime Vrsaljko’s departure for Inter Milan, the red and whites looked east to Colombian World Cup stand out Santiago Arias and signed him for four years with an €80m release clause. Read all about that transaction here.
  • German side Borussia Dortmund (BVB) have allegedly registered an interest in signing Kévin Gameiro — which has complicated negotiations with Valencia, the striker’s preferred destination.
  • French paper L’Equipe claimed earlier this week that Atlético were set to challenge Valencia for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, but the Belgian is likely to stay in London. With “Batman” off the table and little traction on a deal for Olivier Giroud, Atlético may push through with a move for Nikola Kalinić despite the difficulties stemming from AC Milan’s change in leadership.

Another potential angle for that deal is Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuaín’s loan move to Milan following Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at the Old Lady. Because of Higuaín’s arrival, it remains unclear how Milan’s new leadership sees Kalinić fitting into the team.

Moriera’s move

English Championship side Aston Villa have agreed terms with Atlético to take backup keeper André Moreira on loan for the 2018/19 season. The 22-year-old keeper has had a career of loan moves since he joined Atleti in 2014, including in his native Portugal.