Kevin Gameiro’s future is as up in the air as a child’s lost balloon, with the French striker still not sure what club he’ll be playing for in the 2016-17 season.
Given how wild and unpredictable this transfer window has been so far you wouldn’t want to rule any scenario out, but it appears his potential landing spots have been narrowed down to Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or to stay put at Sevilla. By all accounts, the most likely destination is the former, with Marca and AS both reporting that Los Rojiblancos are in advanced talks with the Andalusian club to sign the 29-year-old for a fee worth €30m, with €5m in add-ons.
If the above scenario comes to fruition, it will signify a major blow for Barcelona, who had reportedly been close to signing the forward at the weekend. Catalan paper Sport reckoned that a Gameiro move to Camp Nou was within touching distance, only for Atletico to swoop in with a late and improved offer.
“Gameiro was close to signing for Barca yesterday, but Atletico counterattacked at the last minute with an offer for Sevilla which includes [Luciano] Vietto,” the paper’s Monday morning front page read. That loan move of the 22-year-old Argentine is believed to be financially separate from the Gameiro deal and to be worth €3m with a permanent purchase option of €20m.
By offering Sevilla a replacement, Diego Simeone and co. were able to jump to the front of the queue, at the La Liga champions’ expense. The Catalans couldn’t make such an offer of a replacement and are set to lose out because of it. Even worse is that Atletico’s move simultaneously ruins Barcelona’s plan B of signing Vietto from the capital city side if Gameiro was unattainable. Sevilla may yet launch a bid to keep last season’s 29-goal man, but all signs point to imminent presentations of Gameiro on the Vicente Calderon sidelines and Vietto on the Sanchez Pizjuan equivalent.
So who are the winners in all of this and who are the losers? Well, if everything goes as planned, which is easier said than done, then the biggest winner of all will be Atletico. They have been craving a striker since the start of the transfer window and to virtually pull one in from the doorstep of Barcelona would be a double win as Los Rojiblancos are weakening their title rivals at the same time as they themselves get stronger.
For the Frenchman himself, this is also surely the preferred option as he will be the star at Vicente Calderon, rather than the understudy at Camp Nou for similar wages. Sevilla will also do pretty well from this deal, as they are set to make a tidy profit on a 29-year-old, while they still have a highly-rated forward in place for next season.
The ultimate losers, therefore, are Barcelona, who still cannot find a backup striker, while Vietto may also feel a little upset at proceedings as he is believed to prefer a move to Camp Nou over one to Sanchez Pizjuan. With this following on from their failure to capture Nolito, one has to wonder if La Blaugrana will ever find that backup striker they so desperately want.