AC Milan set sights on Atlético Madrid's Santiago Arias
Tuttosport reports that the Colombian defender is one of three names on a list of right-backs on Milan's radar. For Simeone, Arias is a key member of the squad.
Santiago Arias is one of three right-backs who AC Milan have listed as possible reinforcements for next year. According to Tuttosport, the Atlético Madrid defender has caught their eye in the three league games he has played so far this season. The other two names which appear on Milan's list are Lille's Zeki Celik and PSG's Serge Aurier. Arias, 27, was voted the best right-back in the Dutch league in 2017-18 when he was still on the books at PSV - one year before he signed for Atleti.
Simeone brought Arias on board as competition for Juanfran but it has been a long and difficult adaptation process for the Colombian and he hardly figured at all last season. Now, he finds himself competing for a place with Kieran Trippier, who signed from Tottenham over the summer and has settled in seamlessly with the team and the fans. Trippier is exactly what Simeone needed - an attacking full-back who can deliver poinpoint balls into the box all afternoon. But that's not to say there is no place for Arias over the course of the season.
The penultimate player to debut this season
Ivan Saponjic, who doesn't figure in El Cholo's plans, is the only one of the eight new arrivals who yet to be handed minutes this season. Arias meanwhile had to wait until the Week 6 meeting with Mallorca - a performance which pleased the coach. Since then he was given a run-out against Lokomotiv in the Champions League and against Valencia at the weekend. Simeone is ahppy with how he is progressing: "Arias is better this season than he was last year" he told El Larguero a fortnight ago. Milan are keeping a close watch on him but El Cholo knows there will be a time when he will need to call on both of his right-back between now and May.