MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid may dip into the transfer market in January to cover the loss of midfielder Tiago to injury, coach Diego Simeone said on Monday.
Tiago, a Portugal international, suffered a fractured tibia in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at home to Espanyol and is expected to be out for around four months.
Simeone has a number of squad members who can play in Tiago’s position, including Koke, Saul Niguez and Thomas, but he said the injury made it more likely Atletico will look to strengthen during the January window.
“Whenever the winter market comes around we are open to any situation,” Simeone told a news conference previewing Tuesday’s King’s Cup last 32, first leg at third-tier Reus Deportiu.
“This will not be the exception and obviously all the more so due to the loss of a player like Tiago,” added the former Argentina captain.
“Above all because at 34 years of age he has ability and experience that you don’t have either at 20 or 27.
“He was on great form and we hope he returns before the end of the season because we need him.”
Atletico’s win against Espanyol kept them hard on the heels of La Liga leaders Barcelona.
They are four points behind the champions in second place, with Real Madrid a further two points adrift in third.
Atletico are through to the Champions League last 16 with a game to spare and can make sure of top spot in their section when they play at Benfica on Dec. 8.
(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)