Atletico join race for midfielder – News Manchester United may be monitoring?

Lazio’s Brazilian midfielder Hernanes has caught the intentions of Atletico Madrid as the Rojiblancos try in vein to bring in a new midfielder – possibly a Koke replacement.

After trying and presumably failing to bring in Juan Mata, Erik Lamela and Wolfburg’s Diego it now appears that Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have turned their attentions to Lazio’s coveted midfielder Hernanes.

Hernanes, a 28-year-old Brazilian international, signed for Serie A side Lazio from Brazilian club Sao Paulo for a fee of €11.1m in 2010. In his debut year for Lazio, Hernanes scored 11 times from midfield, equalling Czech Republic legend Pavel Nedved with the best ever goal haul for a Lazio midfielder.

The playmaking midfielder has gone on to represent Lazio 110 times, scoring 32 goals and helping the club qualify for the Europa League after years without European football.

This season, however, Lazio have underperformed and find themselves in midtable, a whopping 18 points behind 3rd place Napoli in the Champions League places. Hernanes has started 13 Serie A games so far this campaign, scoring just two goals. His lack of form is worrying ahead of his nations World Cup in the summer, and rumours of possibly leaving could be distracting for the player.

According to the Italian press, Hernanes was originally keen on renewing his current deal, yet it now seems Lazio president Claudio Lotito has other ideas and is willing to listen to offers of €18m for the Brazilian.

Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool have been mentioned as possible destinations, however the same Italian press Il Messaggero confirms Atletico Madrid’s interest in making a quick January swoop.

Should Atletico seal a deal for the midfielder, it could have huge implications for Manchester United’s long and renowned interest in the Rojiblanco’s star midfielder Koke.

Koke has been instrumental in Atletico Madrid’s rise, scoring four and assisting eight goals as the La Liga giants have competed admirably with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

As a result of the recent arrival of Jose Sosa, Atletico Madrid will have plenty of options in the central midfield area, and a potential monster bid from Manchester United might start to look incredibly tempting

image: © azuaje

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