Atletico Madrid best-positioned to sign Cristian Nikolaev

La Liga giants Atletico Madrid are reportedly best placed to sign Cristian Nikolaev, who features on the radar of Real Madrid and Everton.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Cristian Nikolaev is the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid. The 17-year-old Alcorcon defensive sensation also features on the radar of Real Madrid and Everton. However, the Colchoneros are best positioned to land the teenage wonderkid in the summer transfer window.

Who is Cristian Nikolaev?

Cristian Nikolaev is one of the best young defensive prospects in Spain. A Spanish centre-back of Bulgarian origin, the youngster is nearly 2 metres tall and is gradually rising in prominence in the country. He currently turns out for the Alcorcon reserve side but has trained with the first-team squad several times.

Despite his tall frame, the youngster is an agile centre-back with a no-nonsense style of defending and efficient decision-making ability. Meanwhile, his imposing height means the 17-year-old is dominant in the air and can make an impact in both boxes. So, it is hardly surprising that Nikolaev has emerged as a target for several well-known clubs across Europe. Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Everton are vying for his signature.

A big move beckons?

The report by Mundo Deportivo has pinned Atletico Madrid as the front-runner to secure Cristian Nikolaev’s signature in the summer transfer window. While Los Rojiblancos will unlikely hand him a berth in the first-team squad, he can potentially become a regular for the senior side in a few years.

The same goes for Real Madrid, where the uncertain future of Rafa Marin means Cristian Nikolaev can take the Spanish defender’s spot in the pecking order. With David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger on the wrong side of 30, the 17-year-old defender’s natural progression to the first-team squad can potentially ensure a smooth transition.

As for Everton, the Toffees are in a spot of bother over the long-term future of Jarrad Branthwaite. With Nikolaev projecting a bright future, the Spanish-Bulgarian defensive sensation can be Branthwaite’s long-term replacement at Goodison Park. However, Everton and Real Madrid are behind Atletico Madrid in the battle for Nikolaev’s signature.

It will be interesting to see if Real Madrid, Everton, or some other suitor can turn Cristian Nikolaev’s head and beat Atletico Madrid to his signature. Meanwhile, the Colchoneros should look to cash in on their position and sign the 17-year-old in the coming months.

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