May 25, 2024

If you are a center-back who is both left-footed and tactically versatile, you can expect to be in great demand. That appears to be the case with a £22 million defender who is attracting interest from Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and West Ham ahead of the summer transfer season.

HITC reported on Tuesday that all three teams have inquired about Mario Hermoso’s condition and have been informed of the Spaniard’s demands.

The former Espanyol star is presently on contract with Atletico Madrid, but not for much longer. Hermoso’s current contract ends at the end of the current season.

And the five-time Spain international appears no closer to a contract renewal, with Hermoso’s representative releasing a series of quotes that will give Newcastle, Aston Villa, and West Ham hope that a bargain deal is still possible.

Newcastle and Aston Villa target will be a free-agent

“He is a player who is doing admirably and has matured much over his five years in Madrid. “He is currently finishing his contract with Atletico Madrid,” Inaki Espizua, the 28-year-old’s representative, tells CN24TV.

“It is not a given that he will leave to play elsewhere. However, when you sign a contract, there must be a shared project. And, at the moment, we are not close to renewing our contract with Atletico Madrid.

“Mario wants to play in the major leagues. He does not want to discard any choices. He wants to play for significant goals. We will assess any projects that may arise over the next few years; this is the player’s goal.”

Hermoso, a former Real Madrid youth squad member, has spent five years with Los Colchoneros. He was a member of the Atletico Madrid team that won the La Liga title under Diego Simeone in 2021.

Defensive southpaws are also popular these days, as managers prefer to play from the back. Hermoso is also a capable centre-half and left-back who can play in either a back four or a back three.

West Ham also in Mario Hermoso race

Inter "optimistic" about signing Atletico Madrid defender Mario Hermoso



Newcastle’s interest comes as Sven Botman’s ACL injury threatens to sideline him for the rest of 2024. Tyrone Mings left Aston Villa for several months, and Nayef Aguerd has not matured as expected at West Ham.

HITC understands that Newcastle and Villa are also interested in Wolves skipper Max Kilman.

Espizua had little to say regarding his client’s probable Premier League move, instead emphasizing the possibility of Hermoso leaving Atletico for Italy.

“Serie A is absolutely an option for Mario. Napoli is among the Serie A teams that provide an appealing scenario,” Espizua adds. “Napoli is an excellent club.

“They won the Scudetto last year, and they have an important history. I won’t discuss individual teams out of respect for everyone, but Serie A can undoubtedly be a prestigious location. Even Inter is an excellent club.”

On Wednesday, Atletico will meet Borussia Dortmund in the opening leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

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