Atletico Madrid is facing competition from English Premier League clubs in the race to sign Real Valladolid Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu, ESPN is reporting.
The 21-year-old central defender has been impregnable for his club side this season.
Salisu who has a €12 million clause is on the radar of Manchester United, Arsenal and three other EPL clubs.
La Liga side Valencia have also expressed interest.
The tall bulky centre back is being managed by Manchester United player Juan Mata’s father.
“Salisu has been a sensation in La Liga this year,” Juan Mata Snr told VIP Deportivo.
“Playing as a centre-back at that level isn’t easy. I think this could be his window, because there has been interest from many clubs, and he deserves it.”
The biggest challenge facing Atletico in completing a deal is their delicate financial situation, with the club having been hit particularly hard by La Liga’s suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Atletico had to implement a cost-saving ERTE, with the squad taking a 70% pay cut, and players and directors contributing to make sure other employees did not lose out on wages.
Even a modest €12m fee would represent an obstacle, and Atletico would look to reduce that sum by offering academy players to Valladolid in part exchange.
The Spanish club would be also willing to allow Salisu to remain at Valladolid on loan for another year before joining manager Diego Simeone’s squad in 2021.
Source: Class FM