Atletico Madrid are set to throw in the towel in their pursuit of Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to Spanish publication Marca.
Diego Simeone has been left with a void in his squad following the departure of midfielder Thomas Partey to Arsenal on deadline day. As per the BBC, the Gunners paid in full his £45.3M release clause, meaning that cash currently banked with no purpose for Atletico.
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There is further flexibility in La Liga around transfer windows. One specific rule allows Atletico to sign a replacement for Partey, as long as they are playing in Spain or currently without a club. Though, that option will expire in a week, meaning the club have to get a move on.
According to Marca, Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia was Simeone’s first-choice replacement for Arsenal bound Partey. However, the report claims that Valencia are playing hardball, making it near impossible for Atleti to make any progress in negotiations.
As a result, Marca’s belief is that Atletico will stop wasting their time in attempting to pursue Kondogbia and could be forced to wait until the January transfer window opens to find a viable replacement for Partey.
Arsenal have really done Simeone and Atletico no favours here in poaching Partey at the eleventh hour…