Diego Simeone wants to have his Atletico Madrid squad for the 2016-2017 season finalised before 6 august, according to AS. The Argentinian manager has thus set that date as deadline to secure the services of a striker, with Chelsea star Diego Costa and Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro, the two most likely options.
The Champions League runners-up have already completed the signings of Nico Gaitan and right-back Sime Vrsaljko to strengthen the defence and midfield. Furthermore, they have extended the contract of Fernando Torres and added three players for the future in Diogo Jota, goalkeeper Axel Werner and striker Santos Borre, who was signed the previous summer but remained on loan at Deportivo Cali during the 2015-2016 campaign.
Simeone has also promoted some players like Theo Hernandez from the academy with the aim of having a substitute for all 11 positions on the pitch.
Los Colchoneros will not play their first official game until the La Liga opener against Alaves on 21 August but, according to AS, Simeone has urged the board to have all the squad ready by the 6 of August.
Players like Luciano Vietto, Javier Manquillo or Borja Baston are expected to leave the Vicente Calderon on loan while a striker has been earmarked as the priority signing to complete the overhaul.
The Spanish publications, as has been widely reported in recent months, claim Diego Costa remains the top target but Simone will not be waiting for the Chelsea star much longer and has lined up Gameiro as an alternative.
But recent reports in Spain claim Atletico were eventually on the verge of signing the Frenchman after he was left out of Sevilla's line-up against SV Sandhausen in a friendly on Sunday (24 July).
However, the deal for the Frenchman looks to have been on ice since then after AS claimed Costa reacted to the speculations in a phone call to Simeone asking for the move for the Sevilla star to be put on hold.
The Chelsea star, according to the report, is still confident that the Blues will let him return to the Calderon after Los Colchoneros recently launched a €60m (£50.5m, $66.6m) offer to secure his services, just two years after they sold him to the Blues for €20m less.
The Spaniard appeared to drop a symbolic hint earlier this week after posting a message on his Instagram account where he appears to be saying goodbye to his Chelsea teammates after being dropped in the friendly against Liverpool.
However, the Blues reportedly been refusing to negotiate his departure as Antonio Conte insists he wanted him in his squad. The saga is set to rumble on after Chelsea gave Costa a predominant role in the presentation of the third kit for the 2016-2017 campaign. Yet, should the Spanish reports be true, in less than 10 days the soap opera will be over as Atletico may sign him or opt for Gameiro instead.