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Reports - Atlético Madrid close to signing Geoffrey Kondogbia

The midfielder has not played for Valencia in over two weeks as he awaits news on a move.

Valencia CF v Real Betis - La Liga Santander Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid are set to take advantage of a rule allowing them to sign a replacement for Thomas Partey (and Valencia’s willingness to sell their players). Los Colchoneros are on the verge of landing Geoffrey Kondogbia for a fee reportedly between €15 and €20 million according to Carrusel. Fabrizio Romano reports the two sides are in advanced negotiations.

A verbal agreement has been reached between Kondogbia and the rojiblancos, and Atlético have until midnight on 4 November to sign the player — who has always looked the most likely option. However, a problem with the incorporation of a player now means he will not be available in the Champions League group stage, and can only be registered in February assuming Atlético progress.

The Central African Republic midfielder had already played five times for Valencia this season, but a recent outburst on Instagram (and a dubious heel injury) left him out of manager Javi Gracia’s plans. The 27-year-old complained on social media of the club’s unwillingness to sell him despite interest from around Europe.

Valencia CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

After selling Francis Coquelin, Rodrigo Moreno, Dani Parejo and Ferrán Torres, it seemed everyone had a price at Valencia. Except for Kondogbia. However, his complaints online forced Los Che to reconsider, and Atlético pounced — armed with a fraction of the money from Thomas’ move to Arsenal. That move caught Atlético off-guard as the club was confident his €50 million release clause would be too high for the Premier League side.

Leganés held 10 percent of Partey’s rights, so Atlético only made €45 million from that transfer and have roughly €11 million available to reinvest in the market, according to Goal’s Ruben Uría. Diego Simeone has insisted he needs reinforcements in midfield after Partey’s exit. Lucas Torreira arrived from Arsenal and Héctor Herrera has filled in recently at the base of midfield. But with Saúl out injured, the group has had mixed results so far.

José Campaña (Levante), Mauro Arambarri (Getafe) and Idrissu Baba (Mallorca) were all linked to the colchoneros in addition to Kondogbia, but each player presented certain issues. For example, Levante wanted €35 million for Campaña, just over half of his release clause, knowing the situation Atlético found themselves in.


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