For a second straight transfer window, Diego Simeone will not get his number one wish at the Metropolitano. In the summer, his number one priority was another holding midfielder to alternate with Koke Resurreccion, who has no natural alternative. Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sofyan Amrabat were linked with Atletico Madrid, but the latest from the Spanish capital is that Simeone will get neither of those two, nor anyone else through the door in January.
According to Diario AS, Atletico will not make any signings in January, leaving Simeone to get the best out of his current resources. The silver lining is that in January Atletico will be able to welcome back Pablo Barrios from his knee surgery. The 20-year-old has shown himself to be the most capable of filling in for Koke, and in recent weeks has been missed, with Atletico unable to press or retain the ball as well without him.
🚨 Atlético Madrid will find it difficult to sign a player in this winter transfer window due to the club’s economic situation. Simeone will have a luxury ‘signing’ after the break: Pablo Barrios.[@diarioas] pic.twitter.com/UvKPcMq08E
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) December 25, 2023
Barrios missed five matches in September and October with a muscle issue, and then missing all six of their games in the month of December. His return could be pivotal for Los Rojiblancos if they want to challenge for the title.
Simeone has just signed a new deal at Atletico Madrid, and it is not clear whether that came with promises of action in the transfer market. Given he has reportedly taken a wage cut, this seems unlikely, and he has always maintained a degree of separation from Sporting Director Andrea Berta and his department. However with Koke now into his thirties, and Barrios arguably better further forward, there will no doubt be frustration if his wishes go ignored again next summer.