Atletico Madrid refuse to give up on Barça right-back Semedo

Simeone hopes the Portugal defender will be Juanfran's replacement

Semedo se inventó un paso mágico que Suárez desaprovechó | MEDIAPRO

Atletico Madrid are refusing to give up on the signing of Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo, according to a report in Diario AS on Wednesday. 

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After the departure of Juanfran, whose contract expired, Diego Simeone is on the hunt for a new right-sided full-back this summer. Santiago Arias is the only player currently able to play that position and the Colombian will return to preseason late due to his participation in the Copa America. 

Semedo is Simeone's first choice and the player is reported to be keen on a move. He is not happy with the role he has played so far under Ernesto Valverde, rotating in and out of the side with Sergi Roberto. Barça's first reaction was to turn down all advances and point to his release clause, but all clubs need to sell to sign and the Portuguese defender is important but not essential. 

Nelson Semedo es uno de los objetivos del Atlético de Madrid del Cholo Simeone | FCB

Atletico and Barça have a bigger issue to solve first, the transfer of Antoine Griezmann, who is now available for 120 million euros after his release clause dropped on Monday. The Catalans will try and pay the fee in installments but will not commit to paying a penny over the clause. However, Semedo could come into the negotiations. 

Therefore, before or after, with Griezmann or separate, both clubs could talk about a possible deal for Semedo to ease the negotiations for the France forward. 

Meanwhile, the list of candidates to replace Semedo if he leaves has grown in the past few weeks. Hysaj (Nápoles), Trippier (Tottenham), Meunier (PSG)... Names of weight but they are not starters for the clubs regularly. Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann has also been linked in Germany after an impressive U21 Euros.

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