On July 11, 2013, Atlético Madrid signed former Málaga and Bayern Munich center-back Martín Demichelis to a one-year contract. Demichelis, a longtime Argentina international, was expected to compete for minutes with Diego Godín and João Miranda in a defense that was about to become the best in Europe. But less than two months later, shortly after the 2013/14 league season began, Demichelis was gone, sold to Manchester City to reunite with Manuel Pellegrini in a €5 million deal — with whom he would win three trophies in as many seasons.
On July 3, 2023, Atlético Madrid announced the signing of Javi Galán from Celta Vigo. Galán has been one of LaLiga’s best full-backs over the past three seasons, and his arrival for €3.5 million plus young left-back Manu Sánchez was largely regarded as a coup. However, Galán has played zero minutes in the first two weeks of the new season — missing as many games already as he had missed in the previous two seasons with Celta combined. And Marca is now reporting that the 28-year-old could already be set to leave the club.
Atlético’s local rivals Getafe are targeting Galán in an audacious move, as head coach José Bordalás wants “a left-back of guarantees” at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Galán’s signing has been a long-term aim for Bordalás, who reportedly tried to acquire the player in 2018 and again in 2021. The third time might be the charm for the Spanish coach, as Galán is currently behind Yannick Carrasco and Samuel Lino in Diego Simeone’s pecking order at left wing-back.
Marca claims that if Galán stays past the end of the summer transfer window, Reinildo Mandava’s return from injury in October or November could push the Badajoz native even further out of the picture. And while Atlético do not “expect” any more departures this summer beyond the unwanted João Félix, Getafe are said to have already submitted a bid to land Galán on loan, effectively meaning it will be left up to the player to decide if he wants to leave.
Relevo has contradicted this reporting, claiming “nothing has changed” with respect to Galán and that neither player nor club is contemplating his departure after six weeks. A loan would present absolutely no financial benefit to Atlético, which is still trying to acquire a defensive midfielder and having trouble finding the funds to do so. If Galán were to go, Atleti would surely prefer a permanent transfer at a profit — which shouldn't be hard to achieve, seeing as the player has forged a good reputation following two strong seasons in Galicia.
It may not look like it now from Galán’s perspective, but his best option is to stay and see what happens at his position. Carrasco could still leave for Saudi Arabia before the window closes, while Lino is still learning to play a position that is not a natural one for him and it remains to be seen how long it takes Reinildo to return to form after his ACL tear six months ago.
Javi Galán — stay or go?
This poll is closed
Stay — he just got here, he should fight for his place
Go — Simeone might not rate him, and you can argue the squad has a bigger need