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Reports: Gelson Martins heads to Monaco on loan

The first Morata domino has fallen.

Club Atletico de Madrid v SD Huesca - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Gelson Martins is set to leave Atlético Madrid after just six months as the capital club prepares to welcome Álvaro Morata.

AS and Cadena COPE say that the Portuguese will join Champions League group stage rival AS Monaco on loan until the end of the season as he seeks the opportunities that have eluded him in Diego Simeone’s side. Gelson has played just 446 minutes across 12 appearances and scored once — against Sant Andreu in the Copa del Rey. Simeone reportedly has not been impressed with the winger’s defensive work rate and he quickly fell down the pecking order behind Vitolo, Ángel Correa and club-record signing Thomas Lemar.

Atlético’s other motivation for moving Gelson is to ensure Álvaro Morata’s swift arrival fro Chelsea. The Spain international will join Atleti for €7.5 million on an initial 18-month loan, but because of LaLiga’s wage limits, the mattress makers have to shed salary before they can complete Morata’s signing. Nikola Kalinić is expected to be the other player moved on in this window, with Monaco interested in the Croatian forward too.

Thierry Henry’s Monaco are mired in a relegation battle — they sit 19th in Ligue 1 with just three wins from 21 games, and Gelson should get plenty of opportunities to show Simeone and Atleti that he deserves another chance next season.