Atlético Madrid are closing in on a deal to sign Valencia and Spain striker Rodrigo to enhance Diego Simeone’s attacking options next season and are intent on pursuing the 27-year-old regardless of whether Antoine Griezmann remains at the club.
Valencia are not eager to sell their striker, who scored 16 league goals last term as Los Che qualified for the Champions League but financial constraints at Mestalla mean that a sizeable offer would at least be considered. Valencia would probably look for a fee in the region of 60 million euros, but Atlético are hopeful that they can include Kevin Gameiro in the deal to bring the price down.
Atlético’s idea is not to sign Rodrigo as a back-up to Griezmann – if he stays – and Diego Costa but to play a three-man attack next season with Rodrigo included. Both Griezmann and Rodrigo are capable of playing off a number nine or moving out wide to the wings.
Gameiro could prove key to negotiations
Valencia attempted to sign Gameiro on loan in the January window so Atlético are confident that including the France international in the deal will grease the wheels. For Gameiro, the opportunity to be a regular starter will also appeal.
Working against Atlético is the World Cup, where Rodrigo has possibilities to be Spain’s starting striker, which could increase his value further still. Rodrigo is under contract at Valencia until 2022 and has expressed his desire to stay at the club but he is also aware that the Mestalla board would find it difficult to turn down a significant offer.