Atleti go for Garcia
By Lucas Brown. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Atletico Madrid are reported to have leapt in front of Valencia as both sides battle for the signature of Osasuna midfielder Raul Garcia.
The 20-year-old is said to prefer a move to los Colchoneros in order to team up with coach Javier Aguirre and both clubs are now negotiating over a fee, according to Marca.
Last summer Atleti made an offer of é¼12million (£8.1m) but that was rejected as Osasuna would only settle for a deal that matched the player's buy-out clause of é¼22m (£15m).
With the renewed interest, Raul Garcia has reportedly informed the Pamplona-based outfit that he is keen on switching clubs and that has opened the way for talks.
Aguirre gave the Spain Under 21 international his debut in the top flight during the 2004-05 campaign and guided him through his early days in the team.
That respect for the coach has meant that Valencia are set to miss out after the Che expressed an interest and enquired about his availability.
Osasuna are not keen to sell the youngster, but recognise that the transfer fee would break their current record and allow them to bolster the squad this summer.
The club also do not want to stand in Raul Garcia's way as he looks to further his career at one of the league's biggest clubs.