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Atlético chase Raúl de Tomás as player’s sale is considered “inevitable”

The Espanyol marksman is set to leave his club for a figure well below his €75 million release clause.

Spain v Portugal: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 2 Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Multiple reports this weekend have stated Atlético Madrid are closely following Raúl de Tomás’s situation at Espanyol, with the 27-year-old forward expected to leave the Catalan club this summer.

Relevo’s Matteo Moretto tweeted Sunday morning that Espanyol must sell a high earner to stay within LaLiga’s tight salary limits and avoid becoming subject to the 1x4 rule (Atlético have to do the same by June 30). As Espanyol’s best and most valuable player, de Tomás is the most likely to be sacrificed, with English and German teams following him in addition to Atleti.

Premier League sides can certainly offer de Tomás (who reportedly makes around €6 million net per season) a higher salary than clubs in other countries. But Moretto explains that the Spain international is prioritizing Champions League football, which Atlético will be playing for the 10th consecutive season.

And perhaps the best news for Atleti? The player will be available for far less than his prohibitive €75 million release clause. Moretto believes de Tomás will be sold for €30 million or €40 million.

Club Atletico de Madrid v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Previously, Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo claimed de Tomás is on Atlético’s watchlist but not as a priority, with Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez still Diego Simeone’s preference to reinforce the forward line. On Saturday, Diario AS said Álvaro Morata’s future will condition how aggressive Atlético will be in its search for de Tomás or any Luis Suárez substitute. As it stands, Morata is set to return to Madrid this summer as Juventus will not pay the €35 million fee Atleti are requesting to make a permanent transfer out of his two-year loan spell in Turin.

But Simeone and the board are intent on recruiting a difference-making forward this summer, and de Tomás fits the bill — he is the reigning Zarra Trophy winner as the top Spanish-born goalscorer in LaLiga.

De Tomás, a Real Madrid academy graduate, notched 17 goals during the 2021/22 season (including two in two games against Atleti), only his third campaign in Spain’s top flight. R.D.T. scored 12 non-penalty goals from 10.8 expected goals, and his 0.45 expected goals per 90 including penalties outpaced every Rojiblanco except Matheus Cunha.