Bengaluru, June 26: La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have already lost two of their defensive pillars, Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez this Summer with the veteran centre-back opting to leave the club after his contract's end while the French World Cup winner agreed on a fee with Bayern Munich to proceed for a new challenge.
Not only the centre-backs but left-back Filipe Luis too is expected to leave the side now for league rival Barcelona as a free agent. At such moment, Diego Simeone is looking to overhaul the whole backline and has reportedly wishlisted a number of options to replace the above-mentioned names.
The Argentine boss' primary target is believed to be Espanyol's Mario Hermoso who can play both at central defence as well left back. However, with the Spanish side sticking to their €40m release clause for the 24-year old, Atletico Madrid reportedly have started to explore other options.
Atletico Madrid want Espanyol CB Mario Hermoso, but he has €40m release clause and available for free next summer.— City Chief (@City_Chief) June 25, 2019
The are looking at a plan B and have identified Nicolas Otamendi and Ajax’s Daley Blind as other options. [Marca]
The Los Rojiblancos are unwilling to pay the defender's full release clause due to the fact that he's got just a year left on his contract and apparently has picked two fallback options with Ajax's Daley Blind and Manchester City's Nicolás Otamendi should the two sides not come to a compromise over the 24-year-old.
Blind would offer something similar to Hermoso because he would be able to play at either centre-back or left-back. Diego Simeone would also probably prefer to bring in Otamendi due to his aerial presence.
The Atletico sporting director Andrea Berta is said to be monitoring both defenders and is already putting the preliminaries in place should either come to fulfilment.
Blind, the former Manchester United man, since his return to Holland has had an impressive time playing in the central defence and last term helped his side win the domestic double and play the Champions League semi-final. Though the 29-year-old still has three years left in his deal, he is expected to command a lower fee than Hermoso.
Otamendi, on the other hand, also has a contract till 2022 but he is rumoured to have grown frustrated with a bit part role in Manchester City and looking for a way out of England to avail more playing time.
Atletico could look to take advantage of the situation and may consider paying City's asking price which is said to be €30m.