Atlético have a longstanding interest in Wass and were linked with him during his stint at Celta Vigo. Now 32, Wass has been deployed in central midfield for José Bordalás’s side this season, but he has played as a right-back many times throughout his career. He will be expected to play that position at Atlético following Kieran Trippier’s exit to Newcastle earlier this week.
Taking past transactions into account, Valencia owner Peter Lim is likely eager to do business with Atlético — Lim sanctioned Geoffrey Kondogbia’s sale to Los Rojiblancos at a discounted rate last season. Perhaps most importantly, Wass’s contract expires in June, and the player is said to be excited about joining Atleti.
Clearly, the club feels that a deal for a significant upgrade at right-back (not to mention the defense as a whole) is too difficult to pull off in January. Wass is an interesting player but a pure stopgap option, and Atlético must meaningfully revamp (i.e. spend more money on) its back line next summer.
Despite the club’s questionable transfer strategy, it is easy to see Diego Simeone calling upon Wass’s versatility regularly as Atleti fight to finish inside LaLiga’s top four. The team needs another capable midfielder and experience at both full-back slots. Wass has played all three positions.