By 90Min
May 24, 2019

Diego Simeone could be in for a testing summer as star names and legendary figures seek a new challenge away from Atlético Madrid.

The 2018/19 season started with so much promise after beating arch rivals Real Madrid 4-2 in the UEFA Super Cup. However, that was as good as it got for Los Colchoneros after exiting both the Copa del Rey and Champions League at the last 16 stage.

Simeone's side finished eleven points behind La Liga champions Barcelona, and with both Real and Barça targeting big signings this summer, the Argentine needs to keep his best players to remain competitive.

So, with the summer transfer window now open, who should stay and who should go in order for Atletico to continue to challenge for major honours.


Goalkeepers

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Jan Oblak- KEEP- Simeone would have been delighted that his big Slovenian signed a new four-year contract last month. Oblak has become one of the best goalkeepers in the world but Atletico will know that they will have to continue fighting for big trophies to ensure that Oblak doesn't seek a new challenge.

Antonio Adan- KEEP- The Spanish stopper has another year left on his contract and is a worthy understudy to Oblak.


Full Backs

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Juanfran - LEAVING - The 34-year-old will leave Atletico when his contract expires at the end of the season, bringing an end to an eight-year spell.

Santiago Arias - KEEP - Although the Colombian's first season at Los Rojiblancos wasn't a success, the departure of Juanfran could allow Arias to nail down the starting spot at right back next season.


Filipe Luis - KEEP - The 33-year-old will be a free agent when his contract expires in the summer, with a number of top European clubs seeing him as a decent addition to their respective squads. With Lucas Hernandez on the way to Bayern Munich, Simeone cannot afford to lose the Brazilian as well.


Lucas Hernandez- LEAVING - World Cup-winner Hernandez has agreed a deal to join Bayern, and will earn Atleti a whopping €80m when he departs.


Centre Backs

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Diego Godin - LEAVING - The Uruguayan warrior was in tears as he confirmed his departure from Atletico after nine years at the club. He leaves this summer having twice captained Simeone's side in Champions League finals, and in 2014 he won La Liga.

Jose Gimenez - KEEP - After being nurtured by his compatriot Godin for both club and country, Gimenez will now have to carry the mantle and become the leader of a new look defence.

Stevan Savic - KEEP - The former Manchester City man could turn into a back up option if Simeone recruits a couple of top class centre halves this summer.


Central Midfielders

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Koke - KEEP - The 27-year-old, who has amassed over 400 appearances for his beloved Atletico, could be named the club's new captain. With influential figures leaving this summer, Koke's leadership could prove crucial in Simeone's bid to stay amongst the European elite.

Thomas Partey- KEEP- With Manchester United and Arsenal amongst the clubs monitoring the Ghanaian, Simeone could be left powerless if Partey's £43.5m release clause is triggered.

Normally deployed at the base of midfield, the 25-year-old is due to link up with the Ghana squad for next month's African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Saul Niguez- KEEP- Various reports had linked the midfielder with a summer move to either Manchester City or Manchester United, but Los Rojiblancos will not budge on his €150m release clause. The 24-year-old signed an eight-year contract before the start of the 2018-19 season.

Rodri- KEEP- With a €70m release clause, the 22-year-old could be the man identified by Pep Guardiola to be Fernandinho's long-term successor - though Rodri only joined Atleti less than a year ago from Villarreal.


Attacking Midfielders and Wingers

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Thomas Lemar - KEEP - At 23, the Frenchman could certainly still star for Atletico in the future but the clubs record €70m signing endured a difficult first season as he struggled to adapt to Simeone's demanding tactics.


Vitolo - SELL - His Atleti move hasn't worked out as yet and a series of hamstring injuries have restricted the former Sevilla man to just 13 La Liga starts.  His one goal this season came in the Copa del Rey against Sant Andreu and he could be another player sacrificed this summer.


Gelson Martins - KEEP - Made 12 appearances for Los Rojiblancos in the first half of the season, but struggled to impress before being sent on loan to Monaco. However, he managed to produce some improved form in Ligue 1, racking up four goals and four assists to help steer the club away from the relegation zone.


Antoine Griezmann - SELL - After releasing the infamous 'The Decision' video last summer, Griezmann has once again grabbed the footballing headlines after announcing his desire to leave Atletico this summer. The Frenchman reportedly has a £108m release clause and has his heart set on a move to Barcelona.


Forwards

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Angel Correa - KEEP - The Argentine will have to overcome the disappointment of not being selected in this summer's Copa America squad. Simeone will hope that Correa will come back next season with fire in his belly and a point to prove.

Nikola Kalinic - SELL - Simeone will be hoping to cash in on the Croatian this summer after Kalinic failed to impress in his first season at the club.


Alvaro Morata - KEEP - The Chelsea forward wants to remain at Atletico after he ended a miserable 18 months in London by joining in January on a temporary season-and-a-half deal. With Griezmann's departure looking imminent, Morata may relish the opportunity to become the clubs main man.


Diego Costa - KEEP - Yes, he can be a liability and have moments of madness - epitomised earlier in the season when he received an eight-game ban for insulting a referee. But Simeone and Chelsea fans know better than anyone that Costa, when on song and focused, can lead sides to big trophies.

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