Diego no closer to Atletico move despite formal offer and agreeing personal terms

Atletico Madrid’s attempts to sign Diego remain in the balance, despite reportedly putting in a formal offer to Wolfsburg, and agreeing terms with the player.

Where German media believe the former Werder Bremen star’s price tag stands at €10m, it is understood Atleti are hopeful of securing his services with an offer for as little as €5m, which is coupled with reports of the 26-year-old having already agreed to a pay-cut to complete the move.

However, according to AS the capital club’s formal offer is below the €8m the German side are seeking as a minimum return. Wolfsburg paid Juventus €15.5m for the former Santos midfielder but have endured a difficult 12 months with the Brazilian, heavily fining him for indiscipline both on and off the pitch, and seeing generally inconsistent performances through a 2010-11 campaign that saw Die Wolfe narrowly avoided relegation.

Coach Felix Magath confirmed this summer that the player would not appear for the club again, stating two weeks ago: “I am against working with players like this on principle but, to be fair to Diego, he has been very committed [having returned to training]. But rather than giving him another chance, it merely enhances his value.

“I did not make this decision on the basis of who is right or wrong, or on personalities, but on what his team-mates see as tolerable, and what they are prepared to accept.”

The player has subsequently not been registered for the 2011-12 Bundesliga season, effectively confirming his exit this summer one way or another, alerting Atletico to a potential deal, particularly in light of what he represents tactically that the Rojiblancos have traditionally struggled to find in recent seasons. Although planning a 4-3-3 system, new Coach Gregorio Manzano is thought open to the move, and to incorporating Diego into his system.

However, beyond Wolfsburg’s signals for a higher fee, another obstacle is that of Atletico’s surplus midfielders Elias and Merida. The club is thought reluctant to purchase any more midfielders until these two leave, and where Merida is in talks with Real Betis, Elias is proving harder to find a club for.

The Brazilian holds a non-EU spot in the squad, and is thought surplus to requirements after just six months in Spain. He was pushed towards Porto as part of a player-plus-cash offer for Falcao, but the Portuguese side have dismissed the idea of signing the player, who in December was a target for Benfica.

Diego’s most recent thoughts on his potential transfer are quoted by Kicker: “There is nothing new. I’m waiting. If we find something suitable, then we will look into it. It would be good for both sides, but for now I do my job every day and respect the decision of my club.”

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