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Atlético ‘monitoring’ future of Jordi Alba

The player will leave Barcelona on a free transfer this summer.

FC Barcelona v CA Osasuna - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Update, May 24: Alba has confirmed in a social media post that he will leave Barcelona after the season. The two sides have agreed to terminate the defender’s contract a year early, and he will depart the club on a free transfer after 11 years.

Obviously, this makes signing Alba much easier for Atlético de Madrid. We’ll see if the club follows up on its reported interest and makes a play to acquire the 34-year-old this summer.

The original story from May 18 is below.

It might not be the most eye-catching position, but Atlético Madrid must address its left-back situation this summer. Reinildo Mandava still faces several months of recovery following his season-ending knee injury, while Renan Lodi is unlikely to return to the club from Nottingham Forest. Yannick Carrasco is not a natural at the position, and neither is Saúl Ñíguez (on top of that, both players might be sold).

Atlético could bring back Manu Sánchez to bolster the position — he’s been on loan at cup finalists Osasuna since spring 2021. A move for Celta Vigo’s Javi Galán could also be on the table — he’s a high-quality full-back and is reportedly available for less than €20 million. Or, if you believe Mundo Deportivo on Thursday, Atleti might try to prise Jordi Alba from newly-crowned league champions FC Barcelona.

Per MD’s Ferran Martínez:

Today, Alba is not contemplating a change of scenery. His representatives conveyed this to Barcelona’s sports management last week, and also in the informal meal Alba enjoyed with club president Joan Laporta. On the other hand, no one in the club disputes that the best solution for them would be for the left-back to leave at the end of the year, because he will have even fewer minutes next season and the club will not have to pay his salary.

There are at least two teams interested in Jordi Alba. One is Atlético de Madrid, who have the Spanish international on the list to reinforce left-back....The Barça player has been liked at the Metropolitano for a long time, and they have always been aware of his situation.

Teenager Alejandro Baldé’s emergence this season saw Alba’s minutes take a nosedive. The 34-year-old has played 1,249 minutes and tied a career-low with only 12 starts, which ordinarily would portend a change of scenery.

But Alba is set to collect nearly €40 million in wages from Barcelona next season, the final year of his lengthy contract, with much of that salary coming in the form of payment deferrals agreed upon during Josep Bartomeu’s reign as president. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to leave either if you were owed that kind of money.

FC Barcelona v Atletico de Madrid - Liga Santander Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

If Barça insist on forcing out Alba, he would likely have to arrive at the Metropolitano on loan, as Atlético will not come close to matching even Alba’s gross salary, which is around €20 million. The other options are moving to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal or simply staying put and collecting his checks at Camp Nou Spotify.

“I have not thought about anything other than continuing to play here for Barça and to keep winning trophies,” Alba told The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan last month. “I can still give a lot more when I am playing. When not, I can help my teammates, which is what I am doing at the moment. And that is important.”


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