ATLÉTICO

Record: Atlético keeping tabs on Sporting's Slimani

According to reports in Portugal the Rojiblancos are interested in signing the Algerian international forward at the end of the season.

Record: Atlético keeping tabs on Sporting's Slimani

According to reports in Portugal, Atlético Madrid are keeping a close eye on Sporting’s Algeria international striker Islam Slimani. Record went as far as to say that there has already been contact between the two clubs about the availability of the 27-year-old, who has scored 24 goals in 38 games for the Lisbon-based side this season.

Slimani is a “pure” number nine, standing 1.87m tall and weighing in at 84 kilos. Strong in the air, the Algeria international is an aggressive forward with an eye for goal and quick running with the ball. He is also in the form of his life, having scored 10 in his first season at Sporting and 15 last year.

Slimani arrived in the Portuguese capital as a relative unknown in August 2013 from CR Belouizdad in his native land, shortly after he was named Algerian Player of the Year. Slimani also shone at the 2014 World Cup as Algeria went out 2-1 to eventual champions Germany at the last 16 stage.

In 2014 there was reported interest from Leicester and Trabzonspor, which led Slimani to hand in a transfer request. This was rejected by club president Bruno de Carvalho and the striker eventually apologized for agitating for a move.

Sporting's Islam Slimani celebrates a goal against Arouca.

Both parties benefited from the decision and at the start of the current season Slimani renewed his contract at the José Alvalade until 2020. There was no increase in his minimum release clause, which stands at 30 million euros.

Atlético see Slimani as a perfect replacement for Jackson Martínez, who joined Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande in the January window. Fernando Torres’ future at the Calderón is also up in the air, with the striker yet to be offered a deal to stay on past the end of the current season.