Atletico Madrid’s have completed their pursuit of Alessio Cerci, with the La Liga champions set to beating Arsenal to the signing of the Italian.
Cerci flew out to Madrid on Monday to complete both a medical and contract negotiations before the window shut on Monday night.
The 27-year-old has attracted a number of suitors this summer, with AC Milan and Arsenal also believed to be interested.
The winger was in scintillating form for Torino last season, scoring 13 goals and creating 10 in 35 Serie A appearances.
Cerci’s versatility is one of his biggest strengths. The forward can play as striker, but is also comfortable playing off the front-man or on the right wing.
Cerci was left out of Torino’s squad for their opening Serie A match against Internazionale, as speculation about his future continued to build. Torino’s president Urbabo Cairo conceded that the Italian was likely to leave the club, but only for the right price:
“There are only a few days left and we did what the player asked by listening to proposals, but so far the right offer hasn’t come in.
“If it does arrive, I won’t be the one to clip his wings. I am tempted to follow Fiorentina’s lead when they took Juan Cuadrado off the market.”
Atletico Madrid had previously had an offer of €12 million plus €2m in add-ons rejected. Having already spent the millions they received from the sales Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and others, they may look for funding from an investment company based in England.
Other reports suggest The La Liga champions will look to take Cerci on loan, with a view to making the deal permanent for €20 million.
With a number of new faces at Vicente Calederon, it has taken time for the team to gel, and it showed in their narrow 2-1 win at home to promoted side Eibar.
In the wake of the victory, Simeone admitted the possibility of bringing in a fresh face before the deadline:
“As for new signings, we have already been in discussions with the club’s sporting directors, but we’ve still got Sunday and Monday before the transfer window shuts.”
“We’ll see what happens if there are people coming and going. We’re open to any situation as football like this.”