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Atletico Madrid add Martin Zubimendi to midfield wishlist

Atletico Madrid have shortlisted Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi as one of their potential midfield targets this summer, according to Marca.

Los Rojiblancos are looking to bolster their midfield following the departure of Geoffrey Kondogbia to Marseille and uncertainty over Saul Niguez, who has attracted suitors from Saudi Arabia.

A defensive midfielder remains a priority for Diego Simeone, who wants to reduce the burden on veteran star and club captain Koke.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti tops Atletico’s wishlist, while talks have also been initiated for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

There have been growing speculations about Verratti’s continuity at the French capital, with Atletico and Saudi clubs monitoring his situation.

However, the Italian midfielder wouldn’t come cheap as he is contracted until 2025, meaning that Atletico would have to pay a significant sum to lure him away from the French capital.

The arrival of Luis Enrique could make it even more difficult as the new Les Parisiens manager reportedly considers Verratti central to his plans.

Zubimendi has emerged as an alternative target for the Colchoneros, but he is a long shot given his expensive valuation.

The Spanish midfielder has strengthened his status as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe following a stellar 2022/23 season, playing a big part in La Real’s qualification for the Champions League.

Barcelona have also had Zubimendi as their top target to replace Sergio Busquets, but their interest has seemingly cooled down due to his €60 million release clause.

Los Rojiblancos can recoup funds from the sales of some players and invest in new signings.

Renan Lodi, Joao Felix, Saul and Alvaro Morata are on the chopping block, and Atletico can generate significant funds if they offload them.

Atletico have already strengthened their backline with the signings of Cesar Azpilicueta, Caglar Soyuncu, Javi Galan and Santiago Mourinho.

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