Atletico are looking to cash in on the Uruguayan defender, and may turn to the Zenit St Petersburg man, who is a client of Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes.
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Last summer, Mendes helped bring Falcao to the Spanish capital from Porto, and he is said to enjoy a strong relationship with many members of Atletico's board of directors.
And he could prove vital in this deal. With Bruno Alves' €2.3 million salary said to be too expensive for Los Colchoneros - not least because they do not want to unsettle their current, lesser-paid players - the club are hoping to use Mendes' influence to get his client to lower his demands.
Bruno Alves, who formed a solid partnership with Pepe for his country at Euro 2012, moved to the Russian club for €22m in August 2010.
Should the move not materialise, however, Atleti may move for Porto stopper Rolando, although, according to the reports, he may also be too costly for the Madrid club.