In a world where clubs are supposed to be rivals, direct transfers from one another always seem strange. However, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, signings going one way or the other happen more often than many would like to admit. The latest is that of Marcos Llorente, the 24-year-old midfielder with limitless energy and no shortage of talent on the ball.
A brilliant passer, a strong dribbler, and a tremendous presence in the middle of the field, Llorente is the ideal midfielder for a Diego Simeone side. The fact it is likely to be at the expense of Rodri – who looks set to move to Manchester City – is a blow for the club. However, the signing of a player with so much ability and physical prowess should see the Atletico midfield become stronger and more consistent.
Reports are that the move will cost the Rojiblancos around €40m, with Madrid happy to move him on in a bid to fund other targets. Having played just seven leagues in 2018/19, Llorente will hope to get back to the form he showed in 2017/18 for Deportivo Alaves, when he was seen as one of the most exciting midfield talents on thee books at Real Madrid.
This could help to also make up space in the Los Blancos midfield for the signing of Christian Eriksen or Paul Pogba. Both players are heavily linked, and there is now space – and funds – to push forward with either deal.