All the latest summer transfer news from La Liga...
Atletico Madrid enjoyed a stunning season under Diego Simeone, lifting the La Liga trophy for the first time in almost 20 years, whilst also reaching the Champions League final, only to be beaten by city rivals Real Madrid. A key part of their success was goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, whose three-year loan deal has now expired as he returns to Chelsea. That leaves Simeone with a huge gap to fill, but it appears that he's found the successor in Benfica Jan Oblak - who says the move was too good to turn down.
"I wanted to sign for Atlético Madrid. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to play in La Liga, which is better than the Portuguese league. This is a new challenge that I wanted to grab with both hands," said the Slovenian international. "Benfica wanted me to stay and the president has done everything possible, to convince me not to leave, but it was always my intention to join Atlético Madrid. I will never forget the years I’ve been with Benfica. I wish them all the best and appreciate all the help they’ve given me. Benfica is a fantastic club.”
Benfica are already reeling from the loss of centre back Ezequiel Garay and winger Lazar Markovic, who have signed for Zenit St. Petersburg and Liverpool respectively, but they could lose even more players on top of Oblak too. Midfielder Andre Gomes and striker Rodrigo have both been linked with moves away from the Estadio da Luz, and now they are poised to leave.
Reports in Spain suggest that the duo, 20 and 23 years old respectively, have left Benfica's pre-season training camp together ahead of moves to Valencia, who are looking to rebuild after a poor season last term. New manager Nuno has recently arrived from Portuguese side Rio Ave, and will be familiar with both players and what they can do.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid are believed to be interested in selling winger Angel di Maria in order to fund a move for Monaco playmaker James Rodriguez, who was the star of the World Cup with Colombia. Former Galactico David Beckham watched the 23-year-old in Brazil, and says Rodriguez has what it takes to be a success with Carlo Ancelotti's side, if the deal goes ahead.
"He has the quality to play for Madrid," Beckham told AS. He has a lot of talent and personality. [James] has magic in his left leg. The game against Brazil was spectacular. He’s become known as one of the great stars in world football."