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Atletico Madrid eye Villarreal's Alex Baena to revitalize midfield

Atletico Madrid are facing a challenging period following their recent defeat against Barcelona, leaving them outside the Champions League spots.

Coach Diego Simeone acknowledges the need for improvement, particularly in light of the ageing squad and lack of depth in crucial positions. With key players like Antoine Griezmann and Koke nearing or in their thirties, alternatives are scarce when they require rest or are absent due to injury. 

According to a report by Diario AS, this predicament has prompted discussions within the club about rejuvenating the team, with sporting director Andrea Berta leading the charge.

Berta's strategy involves injecting youthful talent into the squad, with recent acquisitions such as Samu Omorodion, Santiago Mourino, Samuel Lino and Arthur Vermeeren, alongside promoting promising prospects like  Rodrigo Riquelme and Pablo Barrios from the youth academy. 

However, the standout name in their sights for midfield reinforcement is Alex Baena from Villarreal. Baena, at 22 years old, possesses the technical prowess and versatility desired by Atletico, with an impressive track record in La Liga and the Spanish national team.

Baena's skill set includes exceptional ball control, vision, and a knack for goal contributions, making him an ideal candidate to bolster Atletico's midfield. Despite renewing his contract with Villarreal until 2028 and holding a significant release clause, Atletico remain keen on securing his services. 

The club are prepared to navigate potential departures such as Rodrigo De Paul, Saul or Thomas Lemar to create space for Baena in midfield, recognizing the need for fresh blood to maintain competitiveness.

While Atletico face competition for Baena's signature, the club are determined to pursue this transfer target as part of their strategic overhaul. As the summer transfer window approaches, all eyes are on Atletico Madrid as they seek to reshape their squad and reclaim their status as contenders in European football.

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