Atlético have parted with €50m to retain key players
Griezmann, Koke, Saúl, and Lucas have all signed improved contracts, with Jan Oblak expected to follow suit. 'El Cholo' Simeone's side have had to alter their approach.
While Barcelona have lost Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Real Madrid appeared in doubt earlier in the summer, Atlético Madrid have managed to retain their key players.
Griezmann, Koke & co. to stay
Antoine Griezmann flirted with the exit door, but will stay put. Diego Simeone can count on his entire squad. But that has not come for free. Extensions and improvements to contracts have cost Los Rojiblancos €50m gross, and €25m net. Griezmann, Koke, Saúl, and Lucas have all put pen to paper, and the club are working to extend Jan Oblak current deal.
The footballing powerhouses of Europe have been circling around Atlético Madrid. In response, the club has had to raise player wages to place them in line with the offers arriving from elsewhere. With that in mind, and given that Atlético are unable to sign players due to a transfer ban, retaining key players represents real success.
Atlético have had to change approach
The incremental rise in wages for important players has precipitated a change of approach at the club. Previously, Atlético had used the loan marked to give fringe players the opportunity to play. This summer, players on the margins of ‘El Cholo’ Simeone’s squad have been sold, albeit in some cases with ‘buy-back clauses’ in place. Santos Borré, Kranevitter, and Amath have left the club on a permanent basis, and Luciano Vietto is expected to follow suit.
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