ATLÉTICO MADRID

Atlético Madrid plan to sign Dani Olmo in January

Atlético tried to sign the player over the summer. The operation will depend on whether the Rojiblancos can find a new club for Thomas Lemar.

Atlético Madrid plan to sign Dani Olmo in January
Dan Mullan Getty Images

Atlético Madrid will make concerted effort to sign Dani Olmo in the winter transfer window. Diario AS reported back in August that the Rojiblancos were keen on landing the Spain international. The operation stalled because Vitolo refused to leave, but the capital club has remained in contact with Olmo's representatives. Members of Atleti's technical department have made several trips to Zagreb to watch the player in action and reports have been positive - that has convinced the club to act.

Lemar's Atlético days could be numbered

However, the situation is similar to how it was a few months back - for Olmo to arrive, another player has to leave. The player who holds the key to the operation is Thomas Lemar. The French midfielder would be willing to move on because he has dropped down the pecking order and needs regular playing time to boost his chances of being at next year's Euros (he was part of France's World Cup-winning squad in 2018). Dani Olmo would be the perfect replacement as he is able to play as an attacking midfielder or on either wing. Occasionally he has been used as a 'false number 9', a position where Simeone has few options. Once again, Vitolo could be used in the operation to sign Olmo, but as it stands, he is less likely to leave than Lemar.

Dani Olmo is keen to return to Spain and is thrilled by Atlético's interest. The snag is Zagreb - as it was in the summer. The Croatian side want 40 million euros for the player - which isn't an over-the-top asking price for a player who impressed in the Champions even though Dinamo make the knockout round (he scored two and set up one). But it is precisely that the Croatians are out of European competition that they may be open to negotiate for Olmo but the asking price won't go any lower that 30 - 35 million euros.

Simeone has rubber-stamped the operation because he feels Olmo is a player who will be able to adapt to Atleti's style of play. Olmo left La Masía aged 16 as a talented winger but in Croatia he has turned himself into a more versatile player - and is exactly what El Cholo is looking for - a player who can switch to different positions when necessary.