Atletico stars heavily linked with summer English exodus
Atletico Madrid currently lead the way in La Liga (5/1 third-favourites) and have a Champions League (16/1 to win the competition) quarter-final match-up against Catalan giants Barcelona.
Diego Simeone’s side have enjoyed a fantastic term so far, but reports in Spain suggest they are likely to be stripped to the bone as speculation surrounds the futures of several of their players. The likes of Diego Costa, Koke, Thibaut Courtois and Arda Turan are all set to be playing elsewhere next summer.
On top of that group being linked away from the Vicente Calderon, Atletico boss Simeone is reportedly on Manchester United and Inter Milan’s list. Although David Moyes has won his last two in all competitions, the Scot is 10/1 to be next Premier League manager to leave. Simeone, meanwhile is joint-fourth favourite to replace him at 12/1.
Striker Costa has been strongly linked with a transfer to England, with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd all waiting to pounce on the Brazilian-born Spanish cap. His 31 goals in all competitions this season will certainly put him in good stead for a big-money switch – he has a reported £32m buy-out clause.
Another Spain international on United’s radar is 22-year-old Koke. The Atletico youth product has been a key figure for his side this campaign, notching five goals as well as providing 16 assists in all competitions.
Moyes needs midfield players more than in any other other position, and Koke fits the bill. United had been linked with him last summer as well as January, and look as if they face competition from bitter rivals Liverpool and Roma for his signature at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, the agent of Turan recently stated that his player has “received an offer from an English club” – thought to be from the Red Devils – and could be available for around £15m. The Turkish winger is a long-term target of Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers could also make a move after missing out on Mohamed Salah who joined Chelsea in January.
One player who will certainly not be on United’s books from Atletico next season is Courtois. The Belgian stopper has been on loan with the Spaniards’ for the past three campaigns but Jose Mourinho reportedly wants him back at Stamford Bridge to challenge current keeper Petr Cech for the number one jersey.