HomeFootballStefan Savić set for Atlético departure after nine seasons in Madrid

Stefan Savić set for Atlético departure after nine seasons in Madrid

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Longtime Atlético Madrid center-back Stefan Savić is preparing to leave the club this summer, according to Fabrizio Romano and Matteo Moretto in Relevo.

Savić’s contract was due to expire this year, but the Montenegro international had a one-year renewal to 2025 automatically triggered in February, after he played in his 23rd game this season. However, Savić is now ready to say “goodbye” to Atlético after nine seasons in the Spanish capital — during which he helped the team win three major trophies, the most recent being the Spanish league title in 2021.

Savić is motivated to leave as he believes his cycle at Atlético has come to an end after 216 appearances in LALIGA and a decline in performance over the past two-plus seasons. According to Moretto, the automatic one-year renewal did not play a role in Savić’s decision, and the club will make the player’s departure a simple one in recognition of his nine years of service.

Moretto reports that Turkey or Saudi Arabia is the most likely destination for Savić, who turned 33 years old in January and has looked his age for much of the current season. Savić appeared to be out of head coach Diego Simeone’s plans entirely when he went more than a month without playing late last year (between Nov. 3 and Dec. 10), but injuries forced Simeone to reincorporate the veteran defender, and he has been a regular starter since. Atlético have won just over half (10) of Savić’s 18 starts in LALIGA — his regressive passing, lack of foot speed, and disciplinary issues (like avoiding red cards) often putting Atleti into more trouble than should be necessary.

Savić joined Atlético in a €10 million transfer from Fiorentina in July 2015, a deal that also saw midfielder Mario Suárez swap Madrid for Florence. By the end of his first season in the Spanish capital, Savić had won Simeone’s trust (notoriously difficult for new signings to do) and started the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final. He has since gone on to make 296 appearances in all competitions for Atleti.

Although injuries have disrupted Savić’s continuity over the years, he helped Los Rojiblancos win the UEFA Europa League in 2018 — and he was never better than during the 2020/21 season, when his leadership and consistency on the right side of a three-man defense played a vital role in their title win.

Savić is poised to join Mario Hermoso on the Atlético exit ramp, which — you would think — might trigger a long-needed defensive overhaul in the first team. Hermoso’s contract expires in June, and Moretto previously reported that the Spaniard will be moving on this summer — with Saudi Pro League clubs interested in him, too.

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