Reports are indicating that Atlético Madrid are cuckoo for Cucurella.
Getafe’s winger and occasional full-back has been name-checked as one of the options to reinforce Atlético’s left flank. Both Marca and Mundo Deportivo claimed Tuesday that the club will seek help — preferably Cucurella’s — on that side of the pitch, seeing as the only natural left-back Diego Simeone has at his disposal is Renan Lodi. The Brazilian started less than a third of Atleti’s league games, while Yannick Carrasco spent much of 2020/21 playing as a converted left wing-back (though he did it very well).
Though Getafe president Ángel Torres has said Cucurella is not for sale, the rojiblancos are hopeful of tempting their neighbors with a cash-plus-player offer. Left back Manu Sánchez, just back from an excellent half-season loan at Osasuna, makes sense in a swap deal if Atlético go that route.
However, 10 percent of any transfer fee for Cucurella must go to Barcelona — the 22-year-old is a La Masia graduate, and Barça made sure to include that clause in his contract after Getafe purchased him in 2020. So, Torres will be interested in extracting a maximum fee for arguably his best player — which is why he’s essentially pointing Atlético to the player’s €25 million release clause.
Cucurella scored three goals and provided two assists in 37 games this season as Getafe staved off relegation. The Spain U-21 international first drew rave reviews during his loan spell at Eibar in 2018/19 and has only strengthened since then.
Cucurella is a pressing machine, with an excellent defensive work rate and an improving aerial game. His ability to play as a winger, as a full-back, and as a wing-back across different formations is an immensely valuable trait. Atlético played with three at the back for much of last season, but returned to a formation featuring four defenders late in the league-winning campaign.
On the latest Colchonero Chat podcast, Jeremy Beren and Villarreal USA’s Allen Dodson reflect on trophy-winning seasons for Atlético and Villarreal.