Moussa Dembele closing in on move to Atletico Madrid as Lyon chief Juninho reveals ex-Celtic striker has ‘found an agreement’ to join LaLiga leaders and be their replacement for Diego Costa
- Lyon sporting director Juninho has revealed that Moussa Dembele is set to leave
- The striker is keen to join Atletico Madrid, who want him to replace Diego Costa
- The Liga leaders have a backlog of fixtures as well as Champions League action
- Ligue 1 frontrunners Lyon could replace Dembele with Leicester’s Islam Slimani
Lyon are on the brink of selling Moussa Dembele to Atletico Madrid after the striker surprised sporting director Juninho by revealing his desire to leave.
La Liga leaders Atletico need a replacement for Diego Costa and Juninho believes that the former Fulham and Celtic forward has already agreed terms with the club.
Juninho told Telefoot: ‘Moussa came to see me. He thinks that this is the moment to change teams, that he has lost a bit of motivation.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone (left) is close to capturing Lyon striker Moussa Dembele
Lyon sporting director Juninho thinks that the ex-Celtic and Fulham forward has agreed terms
‘This was not something we foresaw. I like him a lot. Keeping someone who does not really want to keep up the intensity through the next five months – that is not ideal.
‘We are in talks with Atletico, I think that Moussa has found an agreement with Atletico.’
Atletico’s schedule is likely to be frantic in the second half of the season after their latest match was called off.
The postponement of their clash with Athletic Club on Saturday means Simeone’s side have at least three games in hand on their rivals.
Liga leaders Atletico need to replace Diego Costa following his abrupt departure from the club
Atleti are a point clear of reigning champions Real Madrid and face a round of 16 Champions League tie against Chelsea in February.
Juninho said that Lyon, who are top of Ligue 1 by a point, could reignite their interest in Leicester forward Islam Slimani.
He said: ‘Slimani is a player we appreciate a lot, but he’s one of a few possibilities.
‘Halfway through the season, it’s not always easy to find a striker to play for six months or a year and a half. It is expensive.
‘We are looking at other players. We spoke with [Slimani] at the start of the season, we had almost reached an agreement. He wants to come and wear our jersey.’
Simeone’s charges face a hectic run of domestic and European fixtures in the coming months