Atlético Madrid are clear that if there is one position that needs strengthening over the summer, it is in the striker department. Diego Simeone’s side enjoyed a successful season, based on defensive solidity, but struggled to find the back of the net beyond the goals of Antoine Griezmann. The club’s signings last summer, Jackson Martínez and Luciano Vietto, failed to fill the void and Fernando Torres only sparked in front of goal towards the end of the campaign.
Simeone has his eye on five targets but none will be easy to obtain due to their market values and their importance to their current clubs. AS takes a look at the current situations of the potential additions.
Diego Costa (Chelsea): Costa is Simeone’s primary target, without question. The Argentinean admires the Hispano-Brazilian and Costa wants to come back to the Calderón. Costa has failed to settle in London and at Stamford Bridge and after an excellent debut campaign his second season was marked more by his fiery temperament than his prowess in front of goal. Atlético sold to Chelsea for 38 million euros but fear that Roman Abramovich will not be willing to do business for less than 50. Incoming coach Antonio Conte likes the forward and wants him to stay at the club. Costa’s value according to Transfermarkt is 45 million euros.
Edinson Cavani (PSG): A move for the Uruguay international appears to be less troublesome than for Costa: Cavani has never been entirely happy at PSG, where he was shunted to the wing to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, with the Swede’s departure Cavani is now mulling a contract extension and club owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he sees the forward as a natural replacement for Ibrahimovic. Cavani’s price tag won’t help though. PSG shelled out 64 million euros to buy him from Napoli and will want a return on their investment. Transfermarkt value Cavani at 40 million.
Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli): The striker du mode in Serie A after banging in 36 league goals to break the Italian top-flight record, Higuaín’s fee would be the major stumbling block. Napoli paid Real Madrid 40 million euros for the Argentina international and won’t entertain offers of anything less than that, as his value has risen to 60 million according to Transfermarkt. Higuaín is also a fan idol at the San Paolo. However, his style of play would be perfectly suited to Atlético: quick, battling, prolific and hard-working. His history with Real Madrid adds a little extra spice to the affair.
Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon): As things stand Lacazette is the most obtainable target, given that Lyon seem willing to sell the France international. But even so, he won’t go cheap: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is a famous hard-baller and always squeezes the maximum profit out of his players, as when he sold Mahamadou Diarra to Real for 26 million euros. Lacazette has hit 76 goals in the last three seasons in Ligue 1 and is valued by Transfermarkt at 30 million euros, a reflection mainly of the fact that he has not yet cemented a place in the national side and was not called up for the Euros.
Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla): Another French striker who has excelled for his club but not worked his way into the plans of Didier Deschamps, Gameiro has scored 67 times for Sevilla in the last three seasons despite stiff competition for a starting place posed by Ciro Immobile, Fernando Llorente and Carlos Bacca. Transfermarkt value Gameiro at just 15 million euros but Sevilla, who are not a pushover in the market, won’t be keen to do business and will point to the striker’s minimum release clause of 40 million.
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