Atletico Madrid interested in signing Jamie Vardy and Alexis Sanchez as Diego Simeone starts to plan for the future

Exclusive: Simeone looks like he'll remain with Atletico to lead them into their new Estadio La Peineta stadium and wants to invigorate his attack with eyes on the Premier League pair

Miguel Delaney
Thursday 11 May 2017 07:03 BST
Jamie Vardy is on Diego Simeone's transfer target list as he attempts to strengthen his Atletico Madrid attack
Jamie Vardy is on Diego Simeone's transfer target list as he attempts to strengthen his Atletico Madrid attack (Getty)

Jamie Vardy and Alexis Sanchez are on Atletico Madrid's list of striker targets for this summer, as the club will seek to make a signing that both enlivens the attack and adds even more excitement ahead of the move to their new Estadio La Peineta for the 2017-18 season.

While their plans are dependent on both Diego Simeone remaining at the club and having a Fifa transfer ban overturned in the Court of Arbitration for Sport [Cas], the Argentine did give indications after Wednesday night's 2-1 Champions League win over Real Madrid that he is thinking about staying, and The Independent understands he has already been looking at potential signings to improve the team.

There has been much speculation about the future of Antoine Griezmann, with both Manchester United and Real Madrid interested, but Simeone is currently hoping to buy a fast striker to play ahead of the French star and revitalise Atletico's attack.

Those close to the club hierarchy say Simeone was greatly impressed with Vardy when his side eliminated Leicester City in the Champions League quarter-final, with the England striker having scored in the second leg, and feels he could be hugely effective in their style of play. The Atletico manager is also a huge admirer of Sanchez's all-action game with Arsenal, while two other targets are Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata.

Morata may only become a concrete option if Real make a concerted attempt to sign Griezmann, due to a transfer pact between the two Madrid clubs, although that is already being tested by speculation that 19-year-old Theo Hernandez will move across Madrid to the Bernabeu. Atletico are nevertheless hopeful of keeping Griezmann, even though there is an acceptance that they probably need to make at least one big sale to fund their plans.

Goalkeeper Jan Oblak is another player attracting plenty of interest, who would also command a huge fee, due to his buy-out clause of €100m.

A new striker, however, is seen as priority.

Atletico are currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal to Cas regarding a Fifa ban on registering new players, that was punishment for breaking rules on the signing of under-18s. A decision is expected in June.

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