Marseille have reportedly rekindled their interest in Atalanta full-back Joakim Maehle after failing to secure a permanent deal for Nuno Tavares.
According to L’Equipe, Les Olympiens have identified the 26-year-old as one of their priority targets to address their defensive issues.
Renan Lodi has arrived from Atletico Madrid following a decent season-long loan at Nottingham Forest, but new boss Marcelino wants to sign another full-back.
The Brazilian could fill the void left by Sead Kolasinac’s departure, with the Bosnian defender leaving the Stade Velodrome after just one year to join Atalanta.
Kolasinac’s arrival will unlikely jeopardise Maehle’s first-team status in Bergamo, considering the Denmark international has been indispensable in Gian Piero Gasperini’s set-up over the past three years.
Maehle was on the French team’s radar in 2020 before swapping Genk for Atalanta, but Marseille will try to purchase him this summer following Tavares’ return to Arsenal.
The 23-year-old was an always-present figure in Igor Tudor’s starting line-up last season, making as many as 39 appearances in all competitions, including 31 in Ligue 1.
However, Mikel Arteta refused to include a buyout option in the Portuguese defender’s loan deal, depriving Marseille of a chance to keep the ex-Benfica man beyond the summer.
With Kolasinac and Tavares gone, the acquisition of Lodi won’t suffice for Les Olympiens.
They have renewed their interest in Maehle but are only willing to sign him on loan with an option to buy, a formula which doesn’t please Atalanta.
Maehle is under contract at the Gewiss Stadium until 2025 and remains one of Gasperini’s most trusted allies.
Atalanta’s first instinct is to hold on to the Dane, though they would be inclined to sanction a sale for the right price.
But Maehle’s temporary departure isn’t an option as far as Gasperini is concerned, even though La Dea brought in Kolasinac and Mitchel Bakker this summer.
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