Atletico Madrid are the latest club to declare an interest in Aleix Vidal as interest in the Barcelona full-back continues to mount, despite failing to earn a move away in January.
Vidal was expected to complete a loan move to Sevilla in the January transfer window, but the Andalusian club were unwilling to meet Barcelona’s demands of €12m up front and a guarantee of a permanent summer move. Now it seems that Atletico have jumped up the queue to sign Vidal, according to Diario Sport (via Football Espana).
It was assumed that Vidal would welcome a move away from the Nou Camp, having spent most of the season struggling for first-team opportunities. His only goal of the season came in Barcelona’s 3-0 Clasico win at the Bernabeu in December.
But Vidal, who has made 44 appearances for Barcelona since joining from Sevilla in 2015, has stressed that he is happy at the club and is willing to stay and fight for his place.
“At no moment did I think about leaving,” Vidal told the Sport newspaper. “I’m fine here. There were lots of chances to go to various clubs, but I am here because the club made an effort to keep me.”
Roma and Napoli were also thought to be interested in signing Vidal in January, but a move to another Spanish club seems like the most likely destination. Vidal says that he still has faith in his own abilities, despite being a peripheral figure under Ernesto Valverde.
“I’ve had confidence since I arrived here,” said the 28-year-old. “I give all I can day to day and if the coach is happy then great. You have to keep working, there’s no alternative. Back yourself and don’t listen to what the people say.”
Barcelona lead Atletico by 11 points at the top of La Liga, and make the short trip to Espanyol on Sunday.