Atletico Madrid are enduring one of their worst seasons defensively since Diego Simeone arrived, conceding a goal a game so far, and the Argentine is beginning to run out of patience with his back line.
So far Atleti have conceded 14 goals, an average only surpassed by last season’s 43 goals conceded in 38 games in the Simeone era.
Felipe and Mario Hermoso have had doubts hanging over their quality for the last 18 months, while Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez have been both injury prone and inconsistent this season.
According to Estadio Deportivo, Simeone is looking for a central defender to compete with Gimenez, and one of the prime targets is Osasuna’s David Garcia. The 29-year-old was linked to Los Rojiblancos last season, but a move did not materialise. His release clause is set at €20m.
Some will point to Garcia’s age as a reason not to sign him, but he should have several strong years left at this level, although that is something Felipe has struggled with. Equally, it would not be a large investment and Garcia can justly claim to have been at a higher level than any of Atleti’s central defenders over the last 18 months, meaning he would theoretically add an immediate jump in performance.