Moussa Dembele completes Atletico Madrid loan as Slimani heads to Lyon

Moussa Dembele completes Atletico Madrid loan move from Lyon until the end of the season as Islam Slimani ends Leicester nightmare to replace him on an 18-month deal

Moussa Dembele has signed a six-month loan deal with Atletico MadridIslam Slimani has finally sealed Leicester exit to take his place at LyonDembele replaces Diego Costa, who left Atleti six months early in December

Moussa Dembele has sealed his six-month loan move to Atletico Madrid, with Islam Slimani arriving at Lyon to take his place.

Dembele arrives at the LaLiga champions as a direct replacement for Diego Costa, who left the Spanish giants last month, with a reported £29.6million option to buy in the summer.

The 24-year-old enjoyed two prolific seasons in front of goal in France after arriving from Celtic in 2018.

Moussa Dembele (left) has completed his move to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid

Islam Slimani has arrived at Lyon on an 18-month deal to take Dembele’s place

He leaves after notching 45 times in 108 appearances, including a brace in last season’s Champions League quarter-final victory over Manchester City.

Algerian international Slimani has in turn ended his miserable spell at Leicester by signing an 18-month deal at the Ligue 1 leaders.

Slimani made the last of just 48 appearances in four-and-a-half years at the Foxes in a 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa last October.

The 32-year-old was a £28m signing in August 2016 but never truly settled, and has been sent out on loan in each of the last three seasons. 

Atletico boss Diego Simeone confirmed this week that the club were closing in on the signing of Lyon forward Dembele.

Slimani has ended his Leicester nightmare after just 48 appearances in four-and-a-half years

The need for a replacement for Costa had been sharpened when he cancelled his contract at the club six months early in December.  

‘It’s still not confirmed, but it’s very advanced,’ the Atletico coach told reporters.

‘I’m going to turn my head towards the game, which is what interests me, and when there’s something [on Dembele], if there is something, I’ll give an opinion.’ 

Simeone’s comments come after Lyon sporting director Juninho revealed the striker had come to speak to him about his desire to leave.

‘Moussa came to see me. He thinks that this is the moment to change teams, that he has lost a bit of motivation,’ the Brazilian said.

Simeone has been on the search for a striker to replace Diego Costa, who cancelled his deal

‘This was not something we foresaw. I like him a lot. Keeping someone who does not really want to keep up the intensity through the next five months – that is not ideal.

‘We are in talks with Atletico, I think that Moussa has found an agreement with Atletico.’

Dembele has scored just one Ligue 1 goal this season from 16 top-flight appearances in France, after a season in which he hit 24 in 46 across all competitions. 

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