Barcelona have made an offer for Theo Hernández, the much-coveted Atlético Madrid youngster, who has impressed this season during a fruitful loan spell at Alavéz. Barça’s offer is on similar terms to that of Real Madrid.
Theo's agent prefers Barcelona
Theo already has a verbal agreement with the Bernabéu-based club, who would pay his €24 million release clause, and sign a lucrative, five-year contract that would steadily increase in value. Theo would earn €6 million in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons; €7 million in 2019-20; €8 million in 2020-21, and €9 million in 2021-22. The offer from Barcelona is, financially, less attractive, yet it has turned the player’s head.
Theo Hernández’ agent is Manuel García Quilón, who has a strained relationship with Florentino Pérez as a result of the Real Madrid president’s treatment of Rafa Benítez. Consequently, Barça would be Quilón's preferred destination. The Catalan club would also have to pay the player’s €24 million release clause. Atlético would also prefer a move to Camp Nou, rather than a transfer to their city rivals.
Barça’s interest is not fresh. They attempted to sign Theo last summer. In fact, it was their interest that prompted Atlético to act immediately and increase the player’s release clause from a paltry €6 million, to the current figure.
Simeone hopes he'll stay at Atlético
Diego Simeone remains hopeful that Theo will opt to remain at Atléti, as the club relocates from the Calderón to the Wanda Metropolitana this year. Yet, Cholo’s comments on the matter have been guarded: “I spoke with Theo a month ago and he knows what I said to him”, he said. Theo has received interest from Liverpool and Bayern, but prefers to remain in La Liga.
It is worth considering that Barça would offer Theo the opportunity to be the club’s first-choice left back. Whereas at Atléti and Real Madrid, he would have to compete with Filipe Luis and Marcelo respectively.
Barcelona’s interest in Theo could have repercussions for Jordi Alba, who has been a victim of Luis Enrique’s tactical shift to a 3-4-3 formation. Alba’s contract does not run out until 2020, but the arrival of Theo could spell the end of his tenure as the club’s left back.