Diego Simeone confirms Atletico Madrid are at a ‘very advanced’ stage in signing Lyon striker Moussa Dembele on a loan deal with an option to buy following Diego Costa’s exit
- Striker Diego Costa cancelled his contract at Atletico Madrid last month
- But the Spanish side are set to replace him with Lyon forward Moussa Dembele
- The 24-year-old will join on an initial loan with a £29.6million buy option
- Diego Simeone said he hoped for a swift resolution to his side’s pursuit of him
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has confirmed the club are closing in on the signing of Lyon forward Moussa Dembele.
LaLiga leaders Atletico are keen on a replacement for Diego Costa, who cancelled his contract at the club six months early in December.
The agreement with Ligue 1 side Lyon for Dembele has not been finalised but the 24-year-old former France U21 international is set to move to the Spanish capital on an initial loan deal until the end of the season with an option to buy for a reported £29.6million.
Diego Simeone has confirmed Atletico Madrid are close to signing Lyon’s Moussa Dembele
Simeone has been on the search for a striker to replace Diego Costa, who cancelled his deal
And ahead of his side’s home fixture against Sevilla on Tuesday, Simeone appeared confident the deal for the former Fulham and Celtic striker would go through but wanted a swift resolution.
‘It’s still not confirmed, but it’s very advanced,’ the Atletico coach told reporters.
‘I’m going to turn my head towards the game, which is what interests me, and when there’s something [on Dembele], if there is something, I’ll give an opinion.’
Simeone’s comments come after Lyon sporting director Juninho revealed the striker had come to speak to him about his desire to leave.
Simeone appeared confident Dembele would be added to the squad in the near future
‘Moussa came to see me. He thinks that this is the moment to change teams, that he has lost a bit of motivation,’ the Brazilian said.
‘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.’
Dembele has scored just one Ligue 1 goal this season from 16 top-flight appearances in France, and comes after a season in which he hit 24 in 46 across all competitions.
His comments come after Lyon sporting director Juninho (R) said Dembele wanted to leave
Simeone also confirmed Kieran Trippier ‘is really good, he’s really excited to play, focused as ever’ after being cleared to feature again for his side.
The England full-back received a 10-game ban from the FA due to breaches relating to betting regulations, but he is allowed to play again following his club’s appeal, with FIFA putting the sanction on hold.
And Simeone will need all the players he can muster with his side playing three games between Tuesday and Sunday.
Their hectic schedule was made even more chaotic last weekend when their game against Athletic Bilbao was called off due to the heavy snowfall from Storm Filomena.
Simeone also confirmed Kieran Trippier is feeling excited to play after his ban was put on hold