Reports - Diego Simeone wants to sign Lionel Messi's protege for Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is reportedly keen to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, who has recently earned the confidence of Argentina captain Lionel Messi.

Mac Allister, 23, has established himself as a first-team starter for the Seagulls over the past two seasons. He has been in fine form of late, scoring five goals in 14 Premier League appearances this campaign.

A right-footed creative operator renowned for his set-pieces, the 14-cap Argentina international turned heads during La Albiceleste’s victorious 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign.

Filling in Giovani Lo Celso’s boots, he registered one goal and one assist in six games in Qatar.

According to El Nacional, Simeone has identified Mac Allister as an ideal addition to his Atletico Madrid squad due to his relentless enthusiasm, privileged vision, and shooting prowess. Los Rojiblancos are set to move for him in the upcoming winter transfer window after selling out-of-favor players, such as Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha.

If Atletico Madrid succeed in their pursuit of the Argentine player, the set-piece specialist will unite with three of his compatriots – Rodrigo de Paul, Angel Correa, and Nahuel Molina – at the Metropolitano Stadium.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Brighton CEO Paul Barber shared his thoughts on the €30 million-rated star’s future at the club.

“There was interest before the World Cup, and I’m sure there will be even more afterwards,” Barber said. “We were working on a new contract in the build-up to the World Cup. We met Alexis’ father several times. All you can do in situations where you’ve got a great asset is to try and protect yourself as best as possible.”

Mac Allister, who joined the Seagulls from Argentinos Juniors for a fee of €8 million in 2019, has a contract until June 2025 at the Amex Stadium. So far, the Atletico Madrid target has netted 13 goals and laid out six assists in 86 appearances for the Premier League outfit.

Atletico Madrid target heaps praise on Lionel Messi after 2022 FIFA World Cup win

During an interaction with, Alexis Mac Allister was asked to highlight the crucial factor behind Argentina’s 2022 FIFA World Cup triumph earlier this month.

Picking Lionel Messi as his answer, he replied:

“It’s always Messi. I think he’s the best player in the world, the best player of all-time. He is amazing, he is a really nice guy, he is humble. He has everything to be the best player in history. It’s amazing to share a dressing room with him and I’m very grateful.”

Messi, 35, etched himself as the greatest player of all time after helping his team lift their third FIFA World Cup trophy. He scored two goals in regulation time of the tournament final and one penalty in the subsequent shootout in the final against France to complete his trophy collection.

Overall, Messi has netted 793 goals and contributed 387 assists in 1003 combined appearances for Argentina, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). So far, he has lifted a whopping 42 trophies during his 18-year-long career.

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