Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic are reportedly battling Real Madrid, Ajax, Valencia and PSV for Atletico’s La Liga wonderkid Rodrigo Riquelme.
Celtic have wanted Rodrigo Riquelme ever since his dazzling performance against Rangers in the UEFA Youth League, according to AS, with Atletico Madrid increasingly worried that they are about to lose one of Europe’s most exciting prospects.
Diego Simeone’s side have got used to seeing their star players leave the Spanish capital on an annual basis. But at least Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Miranda, Diego Costa and co bid farewell with their status as Los Colchoneros legends assured.
Riquelme’s career hasn’t even got going but, with his contract expiring in July, Atletico could lose a player who has just 12 minutes of La Liga football on his CV. To make matters worse, the 20-year-old winger has a £26 million release clause in his current deal which is set to go un-triggered.
Ajax, PSV, Real Betis, Valencia and even Real Madrid are circling but a summer move to Celtic cannot be discounted either.
The Hoops, according to AS, were left awe-struck by Riquelme’s magisterial performance as Atletico’s youngsters thrashed Rangers 4-0 in the UEFA Youth League back in February. The Spaniard produced three assists at Firhill Park, showcasing the kind of defence-splitting qualities which have earned him comparisons with Griezmann and former Celtic and Atleti playmaker Juninho.
The lure of Real Madrid or Ajax may be too good to turn down but Riquelme will surely be aware that Celtic have catapulted a number of talented youngsters into the big-time in recent years, from Virgil van Dijk to Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney to Odsonne Edouard.