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Atlético Eyeing Nice Koné Deal

Friday 20 June 2008 by Sagesse

Atlético de Madrid have widened their search for a new striker and have sent representatives to France to talk to Nice about the possibility of signing Bakari Koné.

Los Colchoneros are looking to bolster their squad ahead of the return to Champions League action and view another goalscorer as vital to compete with Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero.

Miguel Ángel Gil Marín and Jesús García Pitarch spent last week in France and met officials from Nice to make initial contact and discuss a future deal for Koné.

While the search continues, Atleti have not given up hope of signing either Florent Sinama-Pongolle from Recreativo or taking Ricardo Oliveira on loan for a year from Real Zaragoza.

Both players are within the club’s budget and have vast experience of the Spanish league, but there are question marks over whether they would be content to start the campaign as substitutes.

Koné may also not want to move to Vicente Calderón just to warm the bench, but he would be introduced slowly as he adapts to life in his new surroundings.

At 26 the Ivory Coast international is a proven goalscorer and his 14 goals last term for Nice added to an impressive tally that he has chalked up in three years at Stade du Ray.

Koné moved to Nice from Lorient in 2005 after spells with ASEC Mimosas and Al-Ittihad and the move to France boosted his profile enough to earn him an international call-up.

Lucas Brown, Goal.com


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