Italian giants overtake Barcelona to sign Atletico Madrid star – report

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Owing to their problems with FFP and their less-than-ideal financial situation, FC Barcelona are particularly attentive to any market opportunities for getting quality free agents.

The Catalans have successfully followed this strategy in the past few years, getting highly valued players like Ilkay Gundogan, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, etc. without paying any fee for them.

Currently, another player whose contract is ending this summer and who has caught the eyes of Barcelona officials is the Atletico Madrid defender, Mario Hermoso. The Spaniard is not willing to extend his contract with the Mattress Makers, and is open to listening to offers, while Barcelona have already made inquiries about his situation.

However, according to SPORT, the Italian side Juventus has taken the lead in the race to sign the 28-year-old Spanish defender, and is already negotiating a contract with him. Apart from Juventus, some Bundesliga and Premier League clubs have also put in offers for him.

But getting behind Juventus might not concern Barcelona too much, as the Catalans already have a surplus of defenders in their ranks. Still, the Catalans liked him for his character, and while he is most comfortable in the center, he can also operate on the flanks where his speed gives him a clear advantage.

The defender’s situation at Atletico has undergone a significant shift in the last few months. Earlier, Simeone did not count too much on him, but his good performances this season have made Hermoso an undisputed starter for his coach.

Owing to his importance in the team, Atletico Madrid also want to renew him, but they are aware that the defender will have other bigger offers in terms of salary on the table, and do not want to enter a bidding war.

For now, Juventus have provided him with the most alluring offer, with a long-term contract and a salary higher than what he is currently earning with Atletico. Thus, the Italians are confident of getting the player, even though their sporting situation leaves a lot to be desired at the moment.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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