Atletico Madrid are reportedly planning a summer swoop for Valencia left-back Jose Luis Gaya, who is also a target for cross town rivals Real Madrid.
As per a report in Spanish publication Don Balon, Diego Simeone has informed the Atletico Madrid board to step up their efforts in the pursuit of Valencia left-back Jose Luis Gaya, who is also said to be a summer target for Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Gaya has just over two seasons left on his current contract and his release clause is set at a paltry €30 million. However, the report states that Valencia would be willing to consider even lesser amounts to let him go, which would make him a steal in this highly inflated market.
The Spaniard has been impressive over the course of the season, playing an integral role in Valencia’s return to the top four in La Liga. Gaya, who has spent his entire career at Valencia, has made 32 appearances across all competitions, missing only 7 games this campaign.
His performances this season make a strong case for his inclusion into Spain’s World Cup squad, so it comes as no surprise that both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are interested in acquiring the 22-year-old, who has a considerable amount of experience in the Spanish top flight.
Gaya has made 140 appearances for Valencia across all competitions, 111 of which have come in La Liga and he would be a great long term acquisition for both Atletico and RealMadrid, whose first choice left-backs are a 32-year-old Filipe Luis and a 29-year-old Marcelo respectively.
With Atletico, Luis missed a number of games this season through injury and since Theo Hernandez moved to Real Madrid in the summer, they’ve found it difficult to cope without the Brazilian, which has seen Lucas Hernandez play as a makeshift left-back. But, with Lucas being linked with Barcelona, Los Rojiblancos’ need for a left-back has accentuated
Real Madrid do have the aforementioned Theo Hernandez and Nacho Fernandez who could play in the position, but the former hasn’t impressed in his first season at the club and Nacho is better suited to playing at centre-back than in the wide areas.
At Atletico, Gaya would see a lot more game time when compared to Real Madrid. Battling Theo Hernandez and Marcelo isn’t something that the young Spaniard would prefer doing at this stage of his career, when he ought to be playing week in and week out.
However, Los Blancos will be able to pay the 22-year-old whatever he demands. Perhaps more importantly, he will regularly challenge for top honours every season at Real Madrid, something that isn’t a certainty with Los Rojiblancos at this point in time.
Atletico are still feeling the effects of having lost out on one of their best youngsters to Real Madrid, so they will like nothing more than to snatch Gaya from right under their rival’s noses and it will be interesting to see which Madrid club emerged triumphant in the race to sign the Spaniard this summer.