Atletico Madrid is ready to launch a 31 million euro bid for Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo, Goal UK reports.
The Spanish champion, which has already lost David Villa to MLS expansion side New York City FC, has identified Negredo as a potential replacement for Chelsea-bound Diego Costa.
City paid Sevilla 20 million euros last summer to acquire the striker's services, as well as an extra 5 million euros in add-ons, and is hopeful of making a small profit on a player who earns 95,000 euros per week at Etihad Stadium.
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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 home stretch.
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 acclimate in Manchester despite the presence of Spain international colleagues David Silva and Javi Garcia and would favor a move back to his homeland, especially with first team opportunities likely to be even harder to come by next season.
City is 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 favor 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 season.