Atletico Madrid has confirmed on their website that they have finally come to an agreement with FC Porto over Colombian striker Radamel Falcao (25) who will be signing a 5 year deal with our club. The transfer fee is 40 million Euro, and an additional 7 mil in add-ons, which makes it the most expensive transfer in the history of the club (the previous record was Aguero who cost 22 mil).
Brilliant news considering that Falcao is one of the top strikers in the world. Is he better than Aguero or Forlan? That’s arguable, but what’s true is that he has many goals left in him and is still young. He scored 17 in 14 matches (!) in the Europa League last season and a total of 73 in 88 during his entire tenure at Porto. Why Porto would agree to sell him puzzles me, but they only paid 3 mil a few years ago so that is incredible business they just did. But now, the squad is practically complete and there is still some confusion as to what is going to happen to Forlan (who has an offer from Inter), and potential signings Diego (who is in hush-hush negotiations) and Osvaldo (who looks to prefer AS Roma). However, things are looking good and the squad has won each of its 3 matches so far. Lets see if Manzano can turn this team of potential superstars into a real contender for the Champions League spots. No club is ready to fight for the title against Real or Barca quite yet.
Except he’s not also German. Left winger Arda Turan (24) will be signing with Atletico Madrid from Galatasaray where he was captain. Originally, Diego of Wolfsburg was going to come for a discounted price, or Griezmann from Real Sociedad, but yesterday after Galatasaray activated Turan’s eligibility for transfer Atletico was the club who swooped for him for 12 million euro. Pretty amazing stuff considering that he was a transfer target the past year but was quickly written off.
This almost completely writes off the signings of the aforementioned Diego and Griezmann and makes our team even more stacked. We now have Turan, Reyes, Salvio, Juanfran, Fran Merida, and Koke as choices for the wings, too damn many.
In other news, Falcao is rumored to have agreed to personal terms to join Atletico, even though the FC Porto president literally said “the interest of Atletico makes me laugh”. He’s a phenomenal striker but a free and not too risky gamble would be to allow Borja Baston into the striker pool (who’s young and already decent), and if we will occasionally be playing a 4-3-3 system we will only have one striker at a time anyway. I hope this rumor is not true because it’ll be unnecessary spending.
Sergio Aguero’s replacement has finally arrived and the squad is practically complete. Adrián Lopez (23) arrives on a free transfer from Deportivo and is signing a four-year deal with the club. He was the top goalscorer at the U-21 Euro with five goals in the tournament.
I’m very excited to start and to work hard because there is an official match soon. I’ve been training this past week because I wanted to be in the best shape possible so that I could train with my teammates. As of today we’ll see how I’m doing but I think that I’m ready to start and hopefully will play in the next match.
He hasn’t had the best of goalscoring records at club level (scored 22 goals total since 2005) but now that he’s in the presence of better players, and is coming off of a hot streak at a tournament, he’ll be likely to succeed as long as he works hard. Our strike force is now complete and this season we’ll be counting on Forlan, Diego Costa, and Adrian, the latter two being players who have extreme potential and are still ready to contribute.
That might do it for the club’s transfers this season. They may sign a few more young players for the youth team or another midfielder (why) but the club’s main transfer list has already been finished.
Unlike the past three years where a new “project” consisted of signing a few new players and improving upon the season before, this new Atletico project is more of a ground-up operation than anything. We have a brand new manager who is starting from the beginning of the season, we are cashing in on a couple of players and making smart signings, and are finally experimenting with new formations and playing styles.
Quique Sanchez did well in the season that Atletico won the double forming a strong side that was able to compete in knockout tournament settings, but the year after was a disaster in that the squad was eliminated early from both the Copa and the Europa League, and as usual faltered in the Liga. Toward the second half of the season, there was little room for experimentation as Quique kept on throwing out the same lineups with an occasional midfielder being rotated, and that fiasco between Quique and Forlan meant that blondie was left out of the lineups completely. The only bright spots from the end of last season was Diego Costa’s rise to good form, and barely making Europe League qualification.
Now it’s time to do things right. Professional idiot Jesus Garcia Pitarch is no longer the sporting director and will no longer be responsible for unnecessary departures of important players, being replaced by Caminero. New manager Gregorio Manzano is being allowed complete freedom in creating a side the way that he wants instead of inheriting a struggling side. The Atletico cantera (youth team) has an intelligent and determined new manager in Pantic, continuing the great progress of the academy so far and will hopefully bring in new starlets.
Manzano began preseason training around two weeks ago, with the full squad minus the players away for the Copa America (Forlan, Perea, Elias, and the soon-departing Aguero). Eduardo Salvio, who was hot stuff at Benfica last season, has returned and quickly got injured. Sergio Asenjo is also back from his loan at Malaga and is ready to take the place of De Gea, competing with Joel Robles this season. New signings Silvio, Gabi and Miranda who arrived yesterday, are now with the new squad and have begun to mingle with the new teammates. The club is currently negotiating another loan for Tiago and Adrian Lopez is on his way to the club.
The objective for Manzano will be to create a new culture and a playing style that will utilize the player pool as well as possible. There is a good mix of youth (Merida, Koke, Salvio, Mario Suarez), experience (Reyes, Forlan, Juanfran) and flashy Brazilians (Elias, Miranda, Diego Costa). Perhaps not all players benefited from the 4-4-2 that they’ve been using the past few years, and instead might work better in a 4-3-3. This is why Manzano has been experimenting with formations as he’s looking to bring out the best in the players.
The first Europa League qualifier will be at the end of the month, against an unknown opponent (probably some scrub from a small country). Everything looks good so far and it is definitely okay to be a bit excited.
Gregorio Manzano (58) was presented today as the new manager of Atletico Madrid, on a one year deal. This is his second stint as manager of the club, previously taking charge in the 2003-04 season and taking the club to 7th place with a very average squad (we placed 7th this season with a supposedly “great” squad). The only title he has won was the Copa del Rey in 2003 with Mallorca.
His assistants? Juan Vizcaíno and Rubén Baraja, both Atletico youth products and excellent midfielders who are now retired.
I ask for the supporters to believe in me. I won’t let you down. I’m sure that we’ll create a competitive team, who is balanced, and will give great moments to our supporters.
Our job is to improve from where we left off, which is seventh place in the league, as the club has demanded.
The squad, overall, is practically complete. It’s around 80 or 90 percent there. Like any other club, we’re still subject to signings and departures. We’ll find reinforcements for spots that are lacking, but the core is already there, which is a great sign.
At least he is speaking positively. The Atletico fans are very critical so to address them and promise a good squad is very noble of him. He also mentioned that Kun Aguero is still technically part of the squad and hopes that he’ll be able to stay (Real Madrid looks to be his next destination).
Whether you believe in him or not, this new Atletico project has officially begun and now begins the signings of players. The following players are practically confirmed to be on their way here:
Miranda (26) – Center back, Sao Paulo
Silvio (23) – Fullback, right or left (!), SC Braga
Gabi Fernandez (27) – Defensive midfielder, Real Zaragoza
Adrian (23) – Forward, Deportivo la Coruna
Decent pool of signings so far, sure to give competition to the players who are already there. The only signing that sounds iffy is Adrian, who still isn’t proven and doesn’t have a good scoring record at all.
On the way out is still Aguero, De Gea, and now Assuncao is rumored to be heading to Real Zaragoza to reunite with Aguirre, and Diego Costa may be on his way out to Besiktas. Diego Godin wants to go to Chelsea (they made an offer during the winter that was declined) and Forlan looks like he’s going to stay, now that Quique is gone and there is no fiasco any more.
Once again, we’ll keep you updated here on Atletico Offside.
Another departure that we have been expecting for the past year. Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed in a press conference that our star goalkeeper is all set to join United, fee still undisclosed.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while. We identified him quite a while back as one we should go for. He’s a young goalkeeper, very quick, good composure, presence, he’s an outstanding replacement to Edwin van der Sar.”
The negotiations have been going throughout the whole season, and every once in a while a random news outlet would “confirm” that the deal is done. De Gea then told the Atletico fans not to worry because he was going to stay, but United insistence may have made him change his mind.
All that I have to say is… good for him. We’ll have to make do with Asenjo, who is solid when he isn’t injured, and Joel has potential as well. The goalkeeper position isn’t one to worry about considering that Atletico has two decent replacements and will be pocketing a cool 20 mil from the sale. Manchester United is a massive club and when you are practically guaranteed a starting spot on it, it is hard to say no, especially when United has hosted some legendary keepers. De Gea is on his way to become one of their best.
Aguero and De Gea are now on their way out in the span of two days. Will a deal for Forlan be announced tomorrow? Stay tuned.
The inevitable departure that we’ve been awaiting for the past few years has been announced today. Speculation arose once Marca reported this morning that Aguero was at the Atletico offices “discussing important matters”. The speculation was put to rest once he posted a blog on his official website announcing his desire to leave. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, today is that day that every Atletico supporter looks forward to then ends with the supporter burning something in anger after Real Madrid takes the victory. It is a day in which we root for our club in hopes of sticking it to the white-clad Goliath up north from La Castellana, despite the odds being more in their favor. We cannot explain why we get so excited over a match that hasn’t been won by Atletico in over ten years, but here we are again awaiting the final derby of the season with fingers crossed. Read the rest of this entry »
Hey guys, I’m back (again). No, this page is not abandoned since I have to log into it every few days to delete all the spam. No, I did not convert into a Barcelona fan and did not stop caring about our beloved Atletico. No, I didn’t die (and yes I’ve used this joke before). Yes, there is stuff going on that has discouraged me from continuing to post on this page that once used to be my baby, and now seems like more of a liability.
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It seems that the Copa del Rey tie against Real Madrid is pretty much over now that they defeated us 3-1 at the Bernabeu and Kun Aguero is injured. After a great start with Forlan scoring a goal, bad defending (are these guys extra nervous against Madrid?) cost us three goals and made us turn off the television out of shame after Ozil’s finale. Thankfully, that one away goal could be key in the return leg tomorrow. Now the fans have that “yeah, we can do this!” mentality and after a fresh 3-0 win over Mallorca on Monday, we learned that the team can function without certain players (Aguero, Simao) and that Reyes could be the key for success the rest of the season after he scored those killer goals against Hercules and Mallorca.
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