November 24, 2020

Atal reiterates Nice commitment amid Real Madrid and Napoli links

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The Algeria international is flattered with the transfer speculation surrounding him but insisted his future lies with the Eagles

Youcef Atal has reiterated his commitment to Nice after being linked with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Serie A side Napoli.

The right-back has been with the Allianz Riviera outfit since 2018 when he joined from Paradou AC and featured prominently in his debut season with the side.

The 24-year-old defender, however, featured sparingly for Patrick Vieira’s men in the 2019-20 season owing to a serious knee injury he suffered in December.

Atal played 13 times for the Allianz Riviera outfit as they finished fifth on the Ligue 1 table and secured a place in the Europa League.

The Algeria international’s ability is never in doubt which has seen him linked to several European clubs including Real, Napoli and recently Championship side Watford.

Atal explains he is looking forward to his first appearance in the European competition with the Eagles as he hopes to recover from his injury ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

“When you hear them [the rumours], it’s nice because it’s the reward for your work. If the big clubs are watching you, that means you’re there. You exist”, Atal told L’Equipe.

“But I was focused on recovering from my injury and I am only thinking of having a good season here.

“Already, I haven’t had a full second season and I have to do one with the Europa League, my first European Cup. I feel good here.

“The day I have to leave Nice, it will be for a very big club. The level is rising with the competition and that is already doing us good.”

The versatile defender has 18 caps for Algeria since he made his debut against Guinea in a friendly in June 2017.

Atal played a significant role as the Desert foxes clinched the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt for the second time in their history.

The full-back has made 42 appearances since teaming up with Nice and will hope to form a key component of Vieira’s side in the 2020-21 season.