Diego Simeone has all but confirmed Atletico Madrid are interested in bolstering the squad during the summer transfer window with the arrivals of Luciano Vietto and Carlos Tevez and as well the return of Filipe Luis from Chelsea.
The Argentinian manager hopes to strengthen his attack with Villarreal sensation Vietto as he is looking to build a team capable of competing with Barcelona and Real Madrid for La Liga title.
Having scored 12 in La Liga and eight in the Europa League in his debut season in Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have been heavily linked with the striker in recent months while in March his agent Jorge Cyterszpiler revealed both Liverpool and Real Madrid were also interested in securing his services.
"We know that a lot of big clubs are watching Luciano Vietto. There is a lot of competition for him. He could sign for Liverpool, we know that he is admired by the Reds, as well as Real Madrid and two Bundesliga clubs. I think he could leave Villarreal in the summer," his agent admitted.
But reports in Spain earlier this week claimed Atletico Madrid are ready to meet his €20m (£14.7m, $22.5m) release clause to beat other suitors for his services and now Simeone has confirmed they are "close" to reaching an agreement.
"He is a target, both for us and for the sporting direction. We are close. And I hope to have him for next season because for me he is a player who has extraordinary characteristics, playing behind the striker, providing offensive combinations and goals," Simeone said during an interview with AS.
"I see him as very similar to [David] Villa when he began. He is very tactical and he settled very well at Villarreal. I know him well because I managed him at Racing and handed him his debut. Hopefully we can sign him because it would be a major reinforcement."
Meanwhile, speaking about Tevez, he added: "Always it is exciting to have players like Tevez.
"He would be an ideal signing because of how football is lived at Atletico Madrid."
Meanwhile the manager has made no disguise of his desire to have Luis back at the Vicente Calderon.
Luis only left La Liga giants to move to Stamford Bridge in summer 2014 after Jose Mourinho agreed to pay around £16m to secure fill the void left by Ashley Cole's departure for Rome.
But with Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of him in the manager's pecking order Luis has been heavily linked with a move back to his former club.
Asked whether the Brazilian will return this summer, he said: "He is a player who we love as a person and that he also knows us well and has given a lot to the team. I wish [his return] goes through."