Liverpool have been dealt a blow, with Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko turning down their interest to sign a new deal at the Wanda Metropolitano, the La Liga side confirmed.
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) February 5, 2018
The 26-year-old, who joined from Sassuolo in 2015, has put pen to paper on a contract extension keeping him at Atleti until 2021. Vrsaljko has made 39 appearances for the Rojiblancos in all competitions under Diego Simeone and has earned a lengthy stay as a result of his performances.
Formerly of NK Zadar Jugend, GNK Dinamo Zagreb, NK Lokomotiva Zagreb and Genoa, the Croatian international was linked with a move away from Atleti earlier in the season but played down exit talk amid rumours that Liverpool were going to lodge a bid for his signature.
But now his three-year deal signed with Atleti should rule out any immediate change to his situation, meaning Liverpool will have to shop elsewhere for a right-back. Vrsaljko hasn’t been a regular in the defence, making only 14 Liga appearances in 2016/17 and 10 this season, but injuries can be blamed for the sporadic nature of his gametime.
He’ll be hoping to put such issues behind him to nail down a spot in the first-team for the long-term, although veteran defender Juanfran won’t be an easy player to dislodge.
Stats from Transfermarkt.