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Atlético may resume Rodrigo pursuit in winter transfer window

Plus, an international break briefing.

Valencia CF v RCD Mallorca - La Liga Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Atlético Madrid doled out nearly €250 million to acquire eight players this summer, and the club was ready to add a ninth as the transfer window wound down. But stalled negotiations with AC Milan over Ángel Correa meant that last deal could not be finalized.

Indeed, Rodrigo Moreno remains under Marcelino’s orders at Valencia. The Spain striker, so close to swapping Mestalla for the Metropolitano, has stayed after Atlético realized they could not complete a transfer without money in hand.

That said, the rojiblancos could come back for Rodrigo in December, according to a report from Goal.

Diego Simeone is said to have insisted on Rodrigo’s arrival until last week, when the move became impossible. He still wants to work with the player, and he views him as a missing piece of sorts — a forward who can interact with and complement Diego Costa and Álvaro Morata (in addition to João Félix). As such, Simeone will request the 28-year-old once more when the winter window opens.

Last month, several outlets across Spain claimed the attacker’s transfer to Atlético was donezo, just a step away from official confirmation. Hell, Rodrigo even featured on Marca’s front page, as the Madrid daily touted him as “the icing on a Super Atleti.” So from this point, take any stories about the Valencia star with not just one grain of salt, but an entire salt shaker. Atleti cannot buy again without selling first — and unless it’s Correa who makes way in January, nothing will happen.

What’s more — even if the club engineers a transfer for Correa and stays under LaLiga’s revenue-based mandated salary limit, Valencia could be in the midst of a successful season. There’s a decent shot los Che qualify for the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2013. It’s unknown if owner Peter Lim would still want to sell Rodrigo in that event, or if the player himself would even want to leave.

Nine colchoneros have rejoined their national teams over the break, so let’s get an update on how they’re doing — well, those who have played, at least:

  • Spain beat Romania 2-1 in Bucharest on Thursday night to maintain their perfect record in the EURO 2020 qualifiers. Sergio Ramos and Paco Alcácer put La Roja ahead, but Florin Andone scored for the hosts on the hour to bring them back into the game. Kepa Arrizabalaga made a clutch save late to secure the win. Saúl Ñíguez played all 90 minutes and Mario Hermoso replaced Alcácer with five minutes left.
  • Despite his foot injury, Stefan Savić joined up with his Montenegro teammates as they squared off against Hungary. The central defender did not take part in his country’s 2-1 win in Podgorica.
  • Jan Oblak and Slovenia notched a huge 2-0 win over Poland to stay in the hunt for a place at EURO 2020. Oblak was called upon to make just one save against an attack which featured Robert Lewandoski and Krzysztof Piątek. The result in Ljubljana saw the Slovenes pull to within a point of Austria in qualifying Group G.