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The Spanish side have identified the Manchester City striker as a potential replacement for Chelsea-bound Diego Costa and are prepared to launch an offer this summer

By Paul Clennam

Atletico Madrid are ready to launch a £25 million bid for wantaway Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo, Goal understands.

The Spanish champions, who have already lost David Villa to MLS franchise New York City, have identified Negredo as a potential replacement for Chelsea-bound Diego Costa.

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City paid Sevilla £16 million last summer to acquire the striker's services, as well as an extra £4 million in add-ons, and are hopeful of making a small profit on a player who commands a £75,000-a-week salary at Etihad Stadium.

Negredo hit the ground running last season and formed a fearsome partnership with Sergio Aguero, scoring 23 goals by the end of January before a shoulder injury prevented him from making a telling impact during the run-in.

Indeed, the 28-year-old failed to score in his final 16 appearances of the season and was omitted from Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man World Cup squad as a result.

Negredo has struggled to acclimatise in Manchester despite the presence of Spain international colleagues David Silva and Javi Garcia and would favour a move back to his homeland, especially with first team opportunities likely to be even harder to come by next season.

City are adamant that Sergio Aguero will not be allowed to leave in the wake of reported interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, while Edin Dzeko is firmly back in favour under Manuel Pellegrini and is expected to sign a new contract after the World Cup.

The Premier League champions are also expecting an improved return from Stevan Jovetic after the Montenegrin forward spent much of last season out injured, while Yaya Toure is likely to feature in a more advanced role next term.

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