Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco appears as if he will be the latest to swap Champions League football for the Saudi Pro League, but no deal is done between Al Shabab and Los Colchoneros.
Carrasco was not due to feature for Atletico against Sevilla this weekend before the match was postponed, with Diego Simeone explaining that the Belgian winger had made his desire to move clear.
The plan, Marca report, is that Carrasco does not return from Belgium duty and heads to Al Shabab, but the negotiations between the two sides are ongoing. The Saudi side have reportedly set Thursday as the deadline date for a deal to be completed.
🚨🎙️| Diego Simeone: “I love Yannick [Carrasco] a lot as a person. He has always given his best for what the team needed, and I’m grateful. He felt the need to leave, even though it’s not official, and if it’s true, we’ll meet in Riyadh for a coffee because I care about him.” pic.twitter.com/A8XfBVzd7w
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) September 2, 2023
Originally it was thought that €15m would be enough for Atletico to part with Carrasco, but now it seems Los Rojiblancos are demanding more. It is worth remembering they supposedly demanded €18m from Barcelona earlier in the summer. Either way, it is expected that a deal will be reached; Carrasco has no intention of renewing his contract, which expires next summer, thus it benefits Atletico to sell him.
In theory, Atletico already have their replacements for Carrasco. Rodrigo Riquelme, Samuel Lino and Javi Galan are all capable of fulfilling his role in some capacity, but each would likely have different takes on it. None have quite the same capacity to surpass their defender, as Carrasco, but do perhaps bring more consistency.