Atlético Madrid continue to probe the transfer market for that one, final impact signing to complete a refreshed 2019/20 squad. Diego Simeone wants a #10 to finalize his expensive yet exciting attack, and to that end the club’s efforts have been centered on landing Real Madrid’s James Rodríguez. Unwanted by Zinedine Zidane and left out of Wednesday’s friendly against Salzburg, the Colombian is on the metaphorical exit ramp out of the Bernabéu. Atlético remain interested and would plop down around €50 million to sign him, but Madrid would send James to Saturn rather than sell him to a direct rival.
My guess is Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli wait it out until the end of the window and sign the midfielder on an initial loan with an obligation to buy. This possibility combined with los Blancos’ pursuit of Paul Pogba — or Neymar, apparently — may clear the way for Atlético to acquire Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen after the transfer window shuts in England.
Ready to break this down further? Let’s!
The new Premier League season begins Friday, and accordingly the window for English teams slams shut Thursday night. Tottenham appear set to sign Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso as Eriksen’s ostensible replacement, but the Dane hasn’t yet agreed to go anywhere as his contract enters its final year. It’s believed he favors a move to Madrid one way or another after brief negotiations with Manchester United ended, per reports.
Zidane’s side needs more midfield depth, but he does not seem all that keen on Eriksen. Juventus are in selling mode after several years with a negative net spend (and more big moves this summer).
So where does all this leave the 27-year-old? Possibly wearing red and white.
Eriksen is the clear alternative to James and would be available at a cut rate (relatively speaking) considering his contract situation. Atlético and Tottenham are said to have discussed the Denmark talisman’s status during the Kieran Trippier negotiations, and Spurs may be open to a further approach from Atleti even with the window closed.
Eriksen has made nearly 300 appearances for the north London club since his arrival in 2013 and played a huge role in helping them to their first Champions League final last season. He is regarded as a set piece specialist with a good shot from distance and is an elite playmaker — he’s averaged over two key passes per 90 minutes in each of the past six seasons.
With LaLiga returning in the next 10 days, it’s important for Atlético to make their move soon. We’ll wait and see if any traction develops for Eriksen — or James, for that matter — as los Rojiblancos look to put the icing on the cake of a wild summer.