Atletico Madrid may move for Ajax defender Daley Blind or Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi (pictured) instead of signing Mario Hermoso, say Marca.
Hermoso has a €40m release clause at Espanyol and despite Cadena Cope saying that a move would be agreed, Marca now refute that claim and say Atleti will not pay such a fee.
Los Rojiblancos sporting director Andrea Berta is said to be monitoring both defenders and is already putting the groundwork in place should either come to fruition.
Blind is said to be an ideal fit as he would be able to cover both the left-back and centre-half positions, in a similar role to Lucas Hernandez – who joined Bayern Munich in an €80m deal.
Otamendi is viewed differently with his strengths being his aerial ability and strength, and is viewed as more of a replacement for outgoing captain Diego Godin.
The Argentine defender joined City from Valencia in the summer of 2015 for €45m and has helped the club to two league titles since but is available for transfer this summer.
City are said to value Otamendi at €30m but agent Jorge Mendes is said to be key in reducing this for Atleti, who are in desperate need of defensive reinforcement.