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Report: Atlético in fight for Real Valladolid defender

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And he is available at a bargain price.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-VALLADOLID-ATLETICO Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images

We know that for all his struggles to get the most out of creative playmakers, Diego Simeone can sure build a great defense. Incorporating an entirely new backline this season has gone smoother than expected thanks in large part to the coach’s methods. Atlético Madrid’s success over the past several years has been built on this foundation, and a team can never have too many good defenders.

According to Madrid daily AS, Atlético wish to add another good young defender to the team’s spine in the very near future.

Real Valladolid star Mohammed Salisu is on the rojiblanco radar, and the 20-year-old has had an outstanding season in the Castilian side’s defensive setup. Salisu also has Real Madrid’s attention, in addition to that of Getafe, Valencia and Manchester United.

Not only has the 6’3’’ Salisu been one of LaLiga’s top young players, but he has become all the more attractive due to his startling €12 million release clause. Atlético and Real Madrid are said to be best-positioned to sign him — Atleti’s hope, per the report, is that Valladolid would accept seeing Salisu return on loan for 2020/21, after which the player would join the colchoneros’ first team.

Born in Ghana, Salisu is a Valladolid academy graduate, and he has helped to steer the Pucela away from the drop zone — the team sits 15th entering matchday 24. Salisu commits on average just one foul every 118 minutes. He registers better than five clearances and three aerial duels won per 90 minutes. He has completed nearly 88 percent of short pass attempts as well.

Though Salisu has more room to grow, it’s easy to see that with his current progression, the kid could be destined for the top. Atlético apparently see this and want him to be a core defender for years to come.