Atlético Madrid look to be the favorites to sign Marcos Alonso in January, ahead of long-term suitors Inter Milan, and while some sources may have jumped the gun on this potential move, it would appear that there is something concrete indeed happening behind the scenes.
According to the Independent, Los Colchoneros are in talks with Chelsea to take the man celebrating his 30th birthday today on loan, although the duration is not specified (most likely just half the season). Atlético’s interest in the player is likely driven by manager Diego Simeone’s regular use of a three-man backline this season, which is the system that fits Alonso perfectly.
Alonso came through the youth system at Real Madrid, Atlético’s bitter rivals, but it’s hard to see him turn down a move for this reason alone.
While we would no doubt prefer a permanent transfer, our £20m price tag is not likely to be met now, or even in the summer, or even when the financial climate improves. A buy-option in a loan deal could be a solution, though probably at a much lower fee.
The report also notes that Alonso’s departure will, in all likelihood, ensure that Emerson Palmieri stays on for the remainder of the season as Ben Chilwell’s deputy.
However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia), Emerson is also not happy with his minutes this season. The Italy international is in contention to make the Euro squad next year, and it’s understandable that he would to play for a team that can assure him more game-time.
GdS claim that one such team could be Napoli, who are interested in taking Emerson on loan for the second half of the season, in a similar arrangement to the Tiémoué Bakayoko deal — although Napoli would first need to move Faouzi Ghoulam, whose €3.5m annual salary is proving to be a problem.
Despite strong interest in both Alonso and Emerson, Chelsea can let only one of them leave in January, lest we be left with no depth at all in the left back position. It looks like Frank Lampard has his work cut out in convincing
one of them Emerson to stay.