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Borja Iglesias open to joining Atlético once João Félix’s departure is finalized

According to multiple reports.

Real Betis Sevilla v Sevilla - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid are reportedly planning a swoop for Real Betis forward Borja Iglesias — provided the club can sell João Félix for more than €100 million next month.

The daily MARCA claims Atlético have already spoken with Iglesias’s entourage about swapping Seville for Madrid. Diego Simeone is said to be a big fan of the big Copa del Rey-winning forward — and given Atlético’s problems with putting away chances this year, it makes sense that El Cholo is looking for a target man and a penalty area lurker to provide competition for Spain international Álvaro Morata.

In that respect, Iglesias is a good choice to succeed Matheus Cunha, who has left Atlético to join Wolves. The man nicknamed “Panda” has rung up 0.57 goals per 90 or better in each of the past three seasons, and he has accrued a career-best 0.63 expected goals per 90 in LaLiga this season.

In fact, Iglesias’s eight league goals this term would lead all Rojiblancos, and his non-penalty xG per 90 mark (0.41) is also a career high to this point.

Real Betis v Atletico de Madrid - LaLiga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

On the other hand, Iglesias turns 30 next month, and it’s expected that the Champions League-chasing Verdiblancos will quote Atlético a sizable fee to sign one of their top players. Eurosport on Tuesday reported that Atleti have already offered more than €30 million for Iglesias, but Betis are expected hold out for €40 million. MARCA also reported on Tuesday that the Panda is the club’s “number one target” when the transfer window reopens next week, so Atleti will come back with another bid soon.

Iglesias, who signed for Betis from Espanyol in a €28 million deal three years ago, has a contract to 2026 at the Benito Villamarín. The contract has a €100 million release clause, so Betis are under little pressure to sell the player unless he demands a transfer — or agrees personal terms with the Colchoneros. Cadena SER’s Pedro Fullana on Tuesday said reaching an agreement with Iglesias “would not be a problem” for Atlético, and the two sides have been in contact about this move for a month.

Seeing Iglesias in red and white is also contingent on the final terms of a João Félix transfer. Atleti have told interested clubs to pony up more than €100 million to sign the Portuguese on a permanent deal. A report from France on Sunday indicated that Arsenal and Manchester United are the top two suitors, with a final decision expected relatively soon.

I think Atlético could do a lot worse than Borja, who shook off a miserable debut season with Betis in 2019/20 and has been a reliable forward since — he has 18 league goals since the start of last season from 27 shots on target. But it doesn’t strike me as a great idea to splash much of the Matheus Cunha/João Félix cash on a 30-year-old forward (no pun intended) when there is an opportunity to reinvest in infrastructure and change the club’s transfer policy to focus on younger, more dynamic players.


Should Atlético sign Borja Iglesias if João Félix leaves the club?

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