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Atlético’s Path to… Julián Álvarez

The news reported by MARCA on Monday morning shook Argentine football. Atlético want Julián Álvarez and have already made initial contact with the Manchester City striker’s Argentine compatriots. Finding out the striker’s availability is the first step… and De Paul, Molina and Correa are acting as a link to convey their interest.

It should be stressed that there have been no formal conversations between the two clubs. Atlético have not approached City, but the roadmap is marked by a path that those at the Metropolitano have taken several times in the last decade. And it would not be the first time that an impossible signing has ended up wearing the red and white stripes. Nor, knowing their negotiating skills, will it be the last.

Two strikers who went from being key figures at Barça to wearing Atlético’s shirt stand out. Both David Villa and Luis Suárez arrived the summer before, under Simeone, both leagues ended up in the club’s trophy cabinet after being reinforced by the Asturian and the Uruguayan. Their goals, especially those of the now Inter Miami striker, were instrumental in overthrowing the tyranny imposed by the Catalan team itself and Real Madrid.

In any case, they have not been the only impossible signings for the team chaired by Enrique Cerezo. In the summer of 2019, with Miguel Ángel Gil leading the negotiations directly, they won the race against Manchester City and Real Madrid for Joao Félix, the big breakthrough of the previous months with Benfica. The striker, who five years later has become a problem, seemed unreachable… but Griezmann’s departure to Barça for 120 million euros made it possible.

Griezmann and Costa’s second spells

Precisely among those situations that seemed unrealizable is the return of the Little Prince. After a conflictive departure, after becoming a hated player by the stands, Antoine returned to wear the red and white stripes and with work, goals and talent reversed the situation until he became the great idol again.

Diego Costa did not achieve this in his return from the Premier. Injuries and his poor performance in his second spell overshadowed his brutal performance from 2012 to 2014, where he was key in the Copa del Bernabéu… and in Simeone’s first Liga title. However, before he arrived, it seemed impossible to get him out of Chelsea… and it was achieved.

The loan, the only option

Having recounted the background so far, now is the time to resume the desire, Julián Álvarez. A very complicated signing but where there could be a formula, a single way to avoid having to pay a transfer fee close to 100 million euros… and which the Rojiblancos do not intend to carry out.

Hence the loan is the only way to see Álvarez dressed in red and white. The fierce competition he faces in Manchester, together with the siren calls of his albiceleste teammates, would help the striker to push open a door of which only the City directors have the key. Atlético, however, know the path to take.

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