In all probability, Atlético Madrid will be making significant changes to the playing squad ahead of the 2022/23 season. Héctor Herrera’s departure for Houston Dynamo has already been confirmed, and Luis Suárez is expected to follow him out the door once his contract expires. Players such as Thomas Lemar, Jan Oblak, and Šime Vrsaljko face an uncertain future at Atlético, while the club could listen to offers for Yannick Carrasco, Mario Hermoso, and Geoffrey Kondogbia to raise funds.
In short, Atleti face a summer filled with tough decisions — one of which could be selling Renan Lodi for his €60 million release clause.
Several teams appear to be interested in the 24-year-old, but Newcastle and Juventus are the teams said to like him the most. Mundo Deportivo’s Javi Gómara on Tuesday reported the Magpies hope their star midfielder Bruno Guimarães — who himself only joined from Lyon in January — can convince his pal Lodi to move to the Premier League.
This seems to corroborate earlier reporting from England, which claimed Newcastle want to strengthen at left-back this summer and have targeted Lodi after signing Kieran Trippier from Atlético three months ago.
According to Goal’s Rubén Uría, Lodi is happy in Madrid. He has close friendships with compatriot Matheus Cunha and fellow Portuguese-speaker João Félix. But Atleti — always eyeing a profit — expect bids to arrive for the Brazilian after his eye-catching performances in the Champions League this season. It was his goal at Old Trafford that eliminated Manchester United from the competition in the round of 16.
Perhaps as Lodi’s replacement — or as competition for his place in the side — Atlético apparently have reached a pre-agreement to acquire left-back Johan Mojica (even though he has a contract with Elche until 2024).
Reporting for Blog Deportivo de Blu Radio in Colombia, journalist Javier Hernández Bonnet claimed that Atlético have struck a “right of first refusal” deal with Mojica and his agent. This means unless Atleti decline to exercise the option, the 29-year-old will sign for the Rojiblancos if he elects to leave Elche in the next transfer window.
According to one artificial intelligence firm, the pacy and defensively-responsible Mojica is one of the most-impactful left-backs in Europe. The Colombia international has registered two goals and five assists in 31 league games this season, his fifth in LaLiga (for three different teams). His teammate Lucas Boyé has also piqued Atlético’s interest as a possible reinforcement at forward for 2022/23.
One other name who could feature in Atleti’s left-back casting is Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso, who would like to return to Spain and could be made available this summer. Unlike Mojica, Alonso has a contract to 2023 with the Blues.