Blaise Bourgeois

Atlético Madrid eye Nicolás Otamendi as Mario Hermoso alternative

With Espanyol refusing to budge on their €40m asking price for prized centre-back Mario Hermoso, Atlético Madrid are starting to look at alternatives for the upcoming season.

According to MARCA, Atlético are considering moves for Ajax’s Daley Blind and Manchester City’s Nicolás Otamendi should the two sides not come to a compromise over the 24-year-old.

With just one year remaining on his current deal, Atlético are very reluctant to pay Hermoso’s full release clause.

The versatile Hermoso has dazzled this past season and has been a consistent call-up to Spain’s national team since last November, earning three caps to date.

Though the player is very keen on the move, having already agreed personal terms, Atlético are hoping Espanyol concede and accept an offer of €20m.

Blind is being targeted as an alternative because, like Hermoso, he can play both left-back and centre-back.

Otamendi is thought to be desired by manager Diego Simeone for his strong play in the air, but his colossal wages are thought to be a major roadblock.