A transfer story has emerged out of the blue this week as Spanish outlet AS claims that Manchester United have made an incredible £70 million bid for Marcos Llorente.
The 26-year-old has been a key man in Atletico’s surge to the top of La Liga, where they still sit four points clear despite Barcelona’s recent upsurge.
The central midfielder has scored 10 goals and provided 9 assists for the Rojiblancos this season and has played in every Liga and Champions League match.
He has been employed higher up the midfield this term than in the past, when he specialised as a holding midfielder both for Atleti and for former club, Real Madrid.
That kind of midfield versatility makes him an extremely attractive proposition for the Red Devils, who desperately need a world class holding midfielder but who also could be looking to replace Paul Pogba if his contract situation is not resolved.
‘The English club has contacted Atlético de Madrid to make an offer for the international midfielder that reaches €80 million [£70m],’ AS claims.
‘It was not in Atlético’s plans to sell Llorente, but United’s succulent proposal has caused the rojiblancos’ leaders to study the offer, as with that amount they can offset the losses caused by the coronavirus crisis and by the elimination in the Champions League knockout stages.’
AS also believes that the player will take some persuading to leave the Spanish capital for rainy Manchester.
‘Marcos Llorente, however, does not contemplate a change of scene. He is very comfortable at Atlético and does not want to leave Madrid. He is building a new house in the capital of Spain.
‘It is true that due to his performance, he has earned a pay rise to be placed alongside Koke and Saúl, but in no case has he demanded an improvement at a time when Atlético and most clubs are going through a bad timing due to the economic crisis that has been caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.’
Llorente’s market value was recently updated from £43 million to £60 million.
‘He has continued his excellent development from when he first burst on the scene in Atlético’s Champions League win against Liverpool last season,’ Area Manager Spain Tobias Blaseio reported on Transfermarkt .
‘Llorente is a flexible player and scores regularly; he could still develop physically and is very intelligent.
‘The Real Madrid academy player joined Atleti for €30 million in the summer of 2019 and has been a star ever since.’