Chelsea and Manchester City have both identified Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez as a summer transfer target, as per reports in ESPN.
It is said that both Premier League clubs believe the player, who moved to the Spanish capital as an 18-year-old from Danubio, is an ideal candidate for bolstering their backline ahead of next season as both plan defensive overhauls.
Gimenez is one of the club’s four captains this season and his role has gained even greater significance following a number of exits last summer, including defensive partner Diego Godin.
The Uruguayan defender signed a new long-term contract at Los Rojiblancos last summer until 2023 with his new deal including a reported €120m release clause.
The 25-year-old has been part of Diego Simeone’s first-team squad for six seasons and is a tough, aggressive, quick and commanding central defender.
However, Gimenez has suffered 17 different injuries in his career, 15 of which have been muscular and has started 20 or more La Liga games in just one season and not at all in the past four campaigns.
Stefan Savic and Felipe Monteiro have been the main central defensive partnership at Atleti this season among Gimenez’s fitness concerns, but it appears highly unlikely the club will contemplate his exit this summer.