According to Spanish reports this morning, Atletico Madrid have identified Villarreal winger Samu Castillejo as the man to replace Yannick Carrasco and Nico Gaitan following their moves to Dalian Yifung this week.
As well as the departures of Carrasco and Gaitan, Atleti also sold goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya to Real Sociedad, leaving Diego Simeone with just 19 senior players in his squad for the rest of the campaign.
AS have today reported that the club have already started looking for reinforcements for next season, and 23 year old Castillejo is one name that has been mentioned.
The winger has also been interesting Serie A side Napoli, and his form for El Submarino Amarillo this season is sure to have caught the attention of other clubs in Europe.
Back in 2015, The Daily Mirror reported that Atleti had been interested in signing the player when he was playing for Malaga and faced competition from Tottenham Hotspur, however the player joined team mate Samu Garcia at the Estadio de la Cerámica, signing a five year deal.
Born in Malaga, Castillejo joined his hometown side as a 12 year old, and made his debut for the reserve side four years later. Given the nickname “El Fideo” (the noodle) due to his frame, he was called into Javi Gracia’s pre-season squad in 2014, and scored a brace in a 3-1 win against Newcastle United.
A full season with the first team followed, before signing for Villarreal the following year.
So far this season, Castillejo has scored twice and provided four assists in 17 La Liga starts for Javier Calleja’s side.