Atlético Madrid are interested in defender Mathías Olivera and have reportedly agreed personal terms with the 22-year-old Getafe full back.
Getafe are looking for at least half of Olivera’s €20 million release clause, but Atlético are trying to get the figure as low as they possibly can. Relations between the clubs are good after Dario Poveda, the promising young striker from Atlético’s academy, was loaned last month to Jose Bordalás’ side for the season. Top prospect Víctor Mollejo is another player on whom Getafe have their eyes, and he could factor into a deal for Olivera. Finally, Getafe have Johan Mojica, the Colombia left-back who currently plays for Girona, lined up as a potential Olivera substitute.
Olivera’s agent Pablo Boselli says Diego Simeone is the ideal coach for a footballer with his client’s characteristics and says there is a possibility that the Uruguayan signs with the rojiblancos.
It comes as no surprise that Atlético are fishing in Getafe’s pond. Bordalás’ playing style is aggressive and direct. Getafe prioritise strong, fast players, and Olivera has both strength and speed to burn. It also comes as no surprise that Simeone is keen on another Uruguayan defender given the success he had shared with Diego Godin and shares now with José Giménez in his back four.
Olivera moved from Nacional in Uruguay to Getafe in 2017 for under €1 million. In that first season, he only played in four games — three in LaLiga and one in the Copa del Rey. His second year at the club saw him loaned out to Albacete in Segunda, where he played 15 times before being recalled in January.
Last season, Olivera saw his playing time increase significantly. He started the season injured, but once he was fit, it was rare that he did not start. He also played five times in the Europa League before Inter Milan knocked out the capital club in the quarterfinals.
Olivera likely will back up Renan Lodi on the left, but he is a different style of defender than the Brazilian. Less technical, perhaps, but he is much stronger and could easily be transformed into a defensive winger. Simeone swears by that 4-4-2, but Olivera’s addition might open up options to play differently, or maybe even more defensively against more attacking opponents.
Atlético have been very quiet this summer, and it seems they have had to let players leave before making any signings. The club has already sold Caio Henrique to Monaco for €8 million, some of which might be put forward in this deal.
Olivera is not a necessity, but he is a young and very promising left-sided defender who will provide strong competition for Lodi.