Reports have surfaced in Spain linking Club America striker Raul Jimenez with a move to Atletico Madrid.
Atletico’s manager Diego Simeone is intent on improving his side’s scoring options before the summer transfer window closes and the club have reportedly tabled a bid for the Mexican goal scorer, who is now considering his options.
Jimenez has also been linked with Valencia and Porto. But the consensus is the Spanish champions are leading the pack and could finalize a deal later this week.
Just a few days ago, Atletico traveled to the Estadio Azteca to square off against Club America during the EuroAmerica Cup tournament. It is believed this is where discussions with Club America officials and Jimenez’s representative were initiated.
Prior to the match, Simeone was asked about the 23-year-old Mexican striker. “He [Jimenez] looks good. He’s very fit and strong in the air. His movement on the pitch is good,” the Argentine boss said.
Club America sporting director Ricardo Pelaez expects the transfer to gather momentum this week.
“The offer came on Thursday or Friday. We don’t talk about a contract until it’s official,” Palaez said.
“Currently the operational area is dealing with the offer. This weekend he [Jimenez] will talk with his father and his representatives and if I think it’s good, he can go.”
“We’ll assess that at the time but if both parties are satisfied, he’ll go.”
The 23-year-old striker has admitted his excitement at the prospect of joining the reigning champions of Spain and playing Champions League football this season.
The Spanish newspaper AS reports Jimenez as saying: “There are things that will occur suddenly. I have to take this great opportunity that has been presented to me.”
“I have to take it in the best way and face it as it comes.”
“I know I have to be competitive. It’s the champions of Spain and you have to earn a spot.”
“As a child you always feel you can accomplish great things and I always intend to keep growing.”
“I think any player would want to join Atletico. They have been doing great things. Champions of Spain, Champions League final…everyone wants to go.”
Jimenez started in the Club America youth system and has been with the legendary Mexican side for fifteen years. He made his first appearance in the club’s senior squad in 2011, and since then has totaled 96 appearances with 36 goals.
His tally in the current Torneo Apertura (after three games) is four goals in just 170 minutes on the field.
The Club America striker was a member of Mexico’s gold medal winning team during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and later made his national team debut against Denmark in January 2013.
Simeone and Atletico Madrid have been considering numerous striking options in recent days with Fernando Torres, Roberto Soldado and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez all being linked with moves to Vicente Calderon.
Los Colchoneros’ defense has been solid during the preseason, but their attack has been struggling to find the back of the net. Atletico have only scored one goal in their first four preseason matches. The club would like to add a striker partner to play alongside new-signing, Mario Mandzukic, before the start of the La Liga season.
Atletico Madrid have two more friendlies scheduled (today vs. Wolfsburg and Friday vs. Cadiz CF) before they face off against bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on August 19 and 22.