Atlético Madrid’s interest in Lille’s first-team players continues, as the Colchoneros are reportedly preparing a move for the reigning French champions’ Mozambican defender Reinildo Mandava.
Atlético have young goalkeeper Ivo Grbić playing on loan at Lille this season, and the club previously explored a deal for its right-back Zeki Çelik. Atleti are also said to be intrigued with forward Jonathan David’s potential, and now may be poised to acquire the team’s first-choice left-back when his contract expires this summer.
Reinildo, part of L’Equipe’s Ligue 1 team of the year for 2020/21, has started 15 times for Lille this season. Though he has no goals or assists thus far, Reinildo is a strong defensive full-back — he has accrued nearly five combined tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes this season. The 27-year-old has also rung up three clearances per 90 and is a highly-rated pass-blocker.
Given the Rojiblancos’ major defensive struggles this season, the club is likely to acquire multiple new players next summer to shore up the back line. Sorting out the full-back positions will be especially key. No Kieran Trippier replacement has been identified yet, and concerns are growing about Renan Lodi’s long-term future seeing as Yannick Carrasco’s effectiveness has waned at left wing-back.
It is well-known Atlético will look for bargains where available, and that includes free transfers like the left-footed Reinildo — who would provide defensive-minded cover at a premium position.