Atlético Madrid have qualified for the Champions League and are starting to turn their attention to the summer transfer market. Their form in the second half of the season has washed away any doubts over Diego Simeone. It’s full-steam ahead in planning for next season.
This will have a knock-on effect for João Félix, on loan at Chelsea FC. Chelsea have a lot of doubts, and one of them is what to do with the signings they made in recent seasons that don’t quite fit the current project — whatever that turns out to be. Mauricio Pochettino is likely to take the managerial job at Stamford Bridge and will have a significant say in transfers this summer if he is confirmed as manager.
But the Blues remain interested in having João back for next season, and they are exploring the idea of using some of their current players in a swap deal. They have learned Atlético are interested in Marc Cucurella and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to a report by Nizaar Kinsella.
So far, Atlético are refusing to budge on their €100 million valuation of the Portuguese player, and Chelsea aren’t interested at that price. There is the possibility of another loan deal, which would cost them in the region of €18 million.
This would still solve a big headache for Atlético, as it would keep João away while bringing in some needed funds — without selling him cheaply. The Aubameyang-Cucurella talk would solve a headache for Chelsea by getting rid of two players while holding onto a 23-year-old with a very high ceiling if he can find his form.
Cucurella has started 26 games for Chelsea this season and their winning percentage is just 30.8% when he does (it’s 40.0% when he doesn’t start). Chelsea have struggled for most of the season and the Spanish wing-back has not covered himself in glory after arriving from Brighton for £55 million last summer.
Aubameyang has played 22 games this season and has scored just three goals. The 33-year-old wants to go back to Barcelona but their salary spending limits might put paid to that dream. AC Milan and FC Barcelona are also interested.