Atletico looking at Osvaldo and Falcao to replace Aguero

Atletico Madrid are believed to be stepping up their bid for a new strike-force with talks developing for both Daniel Osvaldo and Falcao.

Espanyol’s Osvaldo has been identified as the capital club’s prime option for replacing the recently departed €45m Sergio Kun Aguero. The Madrid side have been tracking Osvaldo for some time, but a sticking point in negotiations has developed surrounding the asking price. Espanyol are pushing for a minimum €18m fee for the former Bologna man, whilst Atletico are understood to only be prepared to pay €15m.

Another potential area for discussion is the method of payment, with Espanyol only allowed to accept deferred payment structures – the type Atletico is likely to offer in this case – with permission from the bank.

However, beyond these areas of negotiation, the player’s agent meets with Los Periquitos’ representatives this week to sort out current issues regarding the striker’s contract. It is thought that the outcome from those discussions will prove ultimately decisive in where Osvaldo plays his football in 2011-12.

Meanwhile, interest in Porto striker Falcao comes just weeks after the Colombian signed a new deal at the Portuguese champions. However, it is understood that the contract in place – alongside a €45m release clause – grants the player permission to leave, should a reasonable offer come in. This is thought to be in the region of €35m, as it represents a €5m increase on the player’s previous release clause.

An incentive for the offer is the €15m-rated Toto Salvio, who Atleti are understood to be happy to offer as part of any deal. However, Salvio was signed from Benfica last term and declared he would never play for another Portuguese team, adding a complication.

Elsewhere, Angel Lafita’s future at Zaragoza has also pushed reports to link him to the Calderon. Long-term admirers of the attacking midfielder, Atleti are monitoring a situation that sees the player keen to leave his current club. He is believed to have met alone with Coach Javier Aguirre about his future. For a club in €110m of debt and a €1m salary cap, selling Lafita – a player with one year left on his contract – looks increasingly likely.

Interest in Giuseppe Rossi looks to have ended, in light of Villarreal’s capacity to push for a flat €30m fee having raised significant, sufficient funds in the €25m sale of Santi Cazorla.

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