Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur have set their sights on Atletico Madrid winger Nico Gaitan.
According to a report in the Evening Standard, the 28-year-old has emerged as a target for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Spurs are said to have enquired with Los Rojiblancos about the availability of the Argentine, who has found games difficult to come by this season.
Gaitan moved to Atletico last summer from Portuguese giants Benfica for a reported €25 million after winning 10 titles and making over 250 appearances in 6 years. But since moving to the Vicente Calderon, he has made only 16 appearances this season in all competitions.
Out of those 16 appearances, he has started only 8 and has scored 3 goals and registered 2 assists so far. He has been unable to break into the squad ahead of wingers Yannick Carrasco and compatriot Angel Correa, and a hip injury has made life even more difficult for the Argentine.
However, the report further states that Simeone has no intention of letting Gaitan leave in the summer. He has reassured the player of his faith in him and believes that he is an important part of the squad. El Cholo has also reiterated Gaitan’s importance to the Atletico board members.
It is likely that this interest arises because of Moussa Sissoko’s inability to make any sort of significant impact at White Hart Lane. The Frenchman has made only 8 starts this campaign after Spurs paid a club record £30 million to secure his services in the summer.
Pochettino has made no secret of his frustration with the player. In November last year, after they lost to Chelsea Pochettino said that the 27-year-old needed to work harder in training and prove that he deserved to be a part of the Spurs’ first XI in the future.
Everton and Juventus have both been rumoured to be interested in the winger and a move away for Sissoko could help Daniel Levy fund a move for Gaitan. The Argentine’s versatility will allow him to play on the left or the right wing, giving Pochettino more options in his squad.
While Atletico seem unwilling to let the player go as of now, the right offer from Spurs would surely force those at the Vicente Calderon to consider letting Gaitan go, so that they may provide Simeone with better reinforcements during this transfer window as they look to shorten the gap from arch rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona in the table, in what has been a disappointing season so far by their standards.