It is not a stretch to say that Atletico Madrid have not lived up to expectations during the current season.
Los Colchoneros were expected to contend on both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, but have failed miserably on both tournaments thus far. They have a slim chance to reach the knockout stages in Europe, and currently sit x points behind league-leaders FC Barcelona at the domestic level.
Head coach Diego Simeone does not like this, and he is going to do something about it. The Argentinian manager has suggested his club are preparing for a busy winter transfer window, and that he “has had some chats” with those above him regarding January business.
Simeone spoke ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey round-of-32 second leg at home to Elche that he had already discussed the situation with sporting director Andrea Berta and chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.
“The truth is that at the moment, with as many games as we have coming up, there are a lot of demands on all of us,” Simeone told Marca. “Andrea, for sure with Miguel, they are managing the situation, and we have had some chats. But my head is on Elche.”
This will be the first time Atletico will be able to sign new players in quite a while, as they were unable to register new players during the last two windows due to a FIFA transfer ban. They still acquired Vitolo and Diego Costa this summer, but those two will be eligible to play in January 2018 when the ban is officially lifted.
One player that is set to leave is Sime Vrsaljko. The Croatian right-back wants first-team football and won’t be able to get it with Los Colchoneros since Juanfran is the regular starter. Ergo, the former Sassuolo star already agreed personal terms with Napoli with Manchester City, while Juventus are interested as well.
The Croatia international will be the only player leaving the side in January, though. So all signs indicate Atletico will have a busy transfer period in the coming weeks.