Luuk de Jong, who is on loan at Barcelona from Sevilla, has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Atletico Madrid ahead of the summer.
According to Fichajes, Atletico Madrid are considering a summer move to sign Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, who is currently on loan at Barcelona from fellow La Liga club Sevilla.
Luuk de Jong came through the ranks at De Graafschap and spent time at FC Twente before leaving the Netherlands to join Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012. He had a brief loan stint at Newcastle United in 2014 before returning to the Bundesliga outfit, only to seal a permanent transfer to PSV Eindhoven.
De Jong spent a successful five-year stint back in his homeland, bagging 112 goals in 204 appearances for PSV, prompting Sevilla to invest in him in the summer of 2019. However, his time at the Andalusian outfit has not panned out all too well, as the 31-year-old has struggled to get going, scoring 19 goals in 94 matches.
The Dutch international ended up swapping Seville for Catalonia this past summer, arriving at Barcelona late on the transfer deadline day as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann. De Jong was signed on a loan deal by the Blaugrana with an option to make his transfer permanent at the end of the season.
Luuk de Jong has 6 La Liga goals from 8 shots on target for Barcelona this season. pic.twitter.com/Yc2RwKF8WY
— Owuraku Ampofo (@_owurakuampofo) April 10, 2022
However, De Jong’s signing was met with a lot of derision by the Barcelona fans. And the striker failed to make much of an impact in the first half of the season and had become out of favour under Xavi Hernandez in the early parts of his managerial tenure. But the 31-year-old has managed to turn things around in recent months, scoring some vital goals in important matches.
De Jong was on hand to score the late winner for Barcelona against Levante this past weekend to secure a 3-2 victory. With that strike, he took his tally for the season to seven goals from 23 matches in all competitions.
It has led to speculation that Barcelona might consider signing him permanently. The striker himself hinted that he might prefer staying at Camp Nou beyond the ongoing campaign. But with the Catalans eyeing a top centre-forward signing in the summer, they might not retain de Jong’s services after his loan deal runs out.
It opens the door for a summer move to Atletico Madrid, who are now keen on the Dutch striker’s services. With Luis Suarez’s contract expiring in the summer, the Rojiblancos are looking at de Jong as a potential replacement. Sevilla would be open to a sale if Barcelona do not sign him permanently and might demand a fee somewhere between €5 million and €7 million.