Espanyol striker Alvaro Vazquez is close to a move to Atletico Madrid, reports Mundo Deportivo.
The 21-year-old recently denounced the Catalans for non-payment of wages and is ready to quit Cornella El-Prat despite the cash-strapped club having urged him to sign a new contract, as they are aware he could leave for nothing in 12 months’ time when his current agreement expires.
However, Los Periquitos know the player’s desire to move on and if he does not put pen to paper they want to offload him before the start of the 2012-13 campaign so they will receive a transfer fee, with Atleti understood to be willing to offer around €2.5m in the next few days.
The player will be entitled to keep part of this amount to pay off money he is owed by Espanyol, thought to be around €500,000, but Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful Alvaro will have a change of heart.
“We are counting on him and want him to stay with us but there are personal issues and also other questions with the club,” said the Argentine after the weekend friendly against Olot, when Alvaro started the game and scored a goal.
At the moment Los Rojiblancos have three main strikers in Radamel Falcao, Adrian Lopez and Diego Costa, yet the latter is believed to be unsettled at the Vicente Calderon and Adrian is talking with the club over a new contract. Although he is widely expected to put pen to paper, Atletico boss Diego Simeone is reportedly keeping his options open.
Alvaro, born in Barcelona and a product of Espanyol’s youth academy, has also been attracting interest from Benfica and Valencia.