Alvaro Negredo wants to join Atletico Madrid

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Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo has expressed his desire for a return to La Liga with Atletico Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

Negredo is understood to be unhappy with his squad status which effectively cost him his place in the Spanish World Cup squad, and is very much in favour of a return to his homeland.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone is searching for a new centre forward, with 27-goal Diego Costa imminently on his way to Chelsea and former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.

The Spanish striker enjoyed a brilliant start to life in England, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.

Nine of these were scored in the Premier League title-winning campaign, while his five Champions League goals included a hat-trick against CSKA Moscow. He was also the top scorer in the League Cup success with six goals, and he bagged another treble against West Ham United in the semi-final.

But after getting injured during the second leg of that tie in late January, he failed to find the net again as his role became reduced to the substitutes' bench.

The 28-year-old has established himself as a proven goalscorer in La Liga during spells with Almeria and Sevilla, from whom former boss at Real, Manuel Pellegrini lured him to the Etihad Stadium for £16.4 million last July.

He has amassed a total of 102 goals over the six seasons that he played in Spain’s top league, though his career began way down in Tercera Division with the Rayo Vallecano B team.

An 18-year-old Negredo scored an incredible 14 goals in 15 games during the 2003/04 campaign – his first as a professional – and he matched his tally the following year before being promoted to the first team.

His impressive goalscoring feats attracted the attention of Real, who developed him again in their Castilla side. After a slow start, he was a shining light during a dark season for his team, scoring 18 times despite them being relegated.

Newly-promoted Almeria came calling and he joined them in July 2007, with Real having the option to bring him back to the Bernebau. Negredo scored 13 league goals in his first season as his new club finished eighth, and then a further 19 the following campaign.

Real took him back after these performances, but ironically it was current boss Pellegrini who suggested that the now 24-year-old should move away in order to fulfil his potential.

Sevilla splashed out £15 million for his signature and a five-year deal and despite battling for the position of first-choice striker with Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute, he still managed 11 goals in La Liga and started in the final victory over Atletico in the Copa del Ray.

Negredo was the undisputed first choice during his second campaign, and he revelled in this freedom – scoring 20 goals as he played in all 38 domestic matches.

14 goals followed in 2011/12, before he netted 25 times in his final season as he won the Zarra Trophy – for the most goals scored by a Spaniard during the year. He rounded off his four-year spell by scoring four times against Valencia before he moved to England.

His exploits with Sevilla earned him international recognition. After making his debut against Armenia in 2009, he boasts a decent scoring ratio with 10 goals in 21 caps. Despite being overlooked for both FIFA World Cup finals, he was part of the squad that won Euro 2012.

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