Barcelona will reportedly need to fend off stiff competition from Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Lucas Boye from Elche.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have joined the race to sign Lucas Boye in the summer transfer window. The 25-year-old Elche striker is also a target for Barcelona, albeit for a move this month.

Lucas Boye has gone from strength to strength since joining Elche from Torino in September. Los Franjiverdes had initially signed the Argentine striker on a loan deal in September 2020 before securing his services on a permanent transfer last summer. And the player has repaid the faith shown in him handsomely.

The 25-year-old has a solid record of seven goals and two assists in 17 La Liga appearances thus far this term. Those seven goals make Boye Elche’s top scorer in the ongoing campaign, and his performances will be crucial in helping his team stave off relegation this season. The Argentine’s exploits have not gone unnoticed either, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid keen on signing him.

The interest from Barcelona stemmed from their struggles to secure the services of priority target Alvaro Morata in the ongoing transfer window. Barcelona’s need to sign a striker has cropped up due to Sergio Aguero’s shock decision to hang up his boots due to a heart ailment.

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The Argentine legend’s premature retirement has left Xavi Hernandez with Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong as the only recognised strikers at his disposal, with neither being reliable enough to last the second half of the season as the first-choice option. Boye had thus emerged as a viable target for Barcelona, although the emergence of Atletico Madrid complicates matters.

Unlike Barcelona, the Colchoneros are plotting a summer move for Boye, who they view as a long-term successor for Luis Suarez. The former Barcelona striker has entered the final six months of his contract and will likely leave Atletico Madrid as a free agent, with Aston Villa among the clubs showing an interest in him.

Suarez’s departure will prompt Atletico Madrid to enter the market for a replacement, with Boye now popping up on their radar. And Atletico Madrid could have a clear run at the 25-year-old Argentine striker as Barcelona’s pursuit of Morata has reignited this week. For his part, Boye should continue to prove himself with performances on the pitch, and a big move could be on the horizon.

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