In Focus: Gaitan to turn down Southampton & Co.

According to Marca, Atletico Madrid forward Nicolas Gaitan favours a return to Boca Juniors over a move to the Premier League during this month’s transfer window.

What’s the story?

Southampton and West Ham United are among those that have been linked with Gaitan since the January window opened for business.

Swansea City and Everton were also said to be in the hunt for a player that is widely expected to leave Atletico this month due to his struggles since arriving in Spain.

According to Marca, however, Gaitan is more interested in a return to Boca Juniors – the club that he left in 2010 – than a move to the Premier League.

The news will come as a blow to a number of English clubs that were hopeful of signing a 16-time Argentina international for a relatively small fee during the January window.

Why is Gaitan leaning away from English move?

When considering that Gaitan has not scored or registered an assist in 12 Atletico appearances this season, it is somewhat of a surprise that the winger is so in-demand this month.

The 29-year-old, who is valued at £13.5m by transfermarkt.co.uk, does have a very good pedigree, however, having enjoyed an extremely successful period with Benfica before moving to Spain.

It was at Boca where Gaitan made his name though, with the midfielder coming through the youth system with the Argentine club before representing their first team between 2008 and 2010.

In two years, Gaitan scored 13 times in 79 appearances for Boca before moving to Benfica, where he would win three league titles and reach two Europa League finals.

Gaitan would certainly demand a large wage packet if he moved to England with either the Saints or the Hammers, but after watching fellow countryman Angel di Maria struggle in the Premier League, it seems that the attacker is leaning away from a move.

A return to Boca now seems likely, although he will have to take a big cut in wages.