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Alvaro Morata talks Griezmann, Simeone, Vinicius, failed Barcelona move: “Xavi called me”

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Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

With the international break underway, footballers have a relaxed schedule giving them time to do interviews and discuss about various things football.

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata appeared on Cadena SER’s El Larguero recently where he discussed several topics including his future at the club and the failed transfer to Barcelona during the January transfer window, apart from various other subjects.

The ex-Real Madrid striker was strongly linked with a transfer to Barcelona in January earlier this year, even though he was on loan at Juventus at the time. And Morata has confirmed that he did hold talks with the Catalans’ manager, Xavi, but the Bianconeri blocked the move.

“There was interest from Barça, yes, Xavi called me, I spoke to him. We talked about football, a little of everything and the truth is that it is to be appreciated, that a coach and a former player like Xavi takes you into account, it makes one feel good,” Morata said.

“In the end last winter I had 4 -5 very very good options, but Allegri told me no. He wanted me to accompany Vlahovic, the striker added.

Morata also talked about his Atletico Madrid teammate Antoine Griezmann and his difficult game-time situation at the club, saying:

“He is admirable. Always smiling. And it must be difficult to always be with a smile, helping, and that is not always seen. It is something to be proud of.”

“I would take it worse… he is generous on his part in the face of a team that does not show it. I don’t know how he really is, but you see him train and you see him committed and motivated. He is an example for the other players,” Morata further added.

There had been speculations that Morata’s relationship with manager Diego Simeone had been strained. Responding to those rumours, the striker said:

“I have never had a problem with Simeone, in fact, sometimes we joke. My relationship with him is phenomenal. He’s my boss and it’s a relationship of respect. The rumours of a bad relationship are things that I don’t know where they came from.”

Morata also had a few words to say about the recent unsavoury incidents at the Civitas Metropolitano involving the racist abuse against Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr this past weekend.

“It is unacceptable that episodes like this happen, that a 21-year-old boy has to listen to all the things he has to listen to on a football field. That is unacceptable. It should not be allowed and unfortunately, it happens,” he said.

When asked if he wishes to end his career at Atletico, Morata said: “Well, whatever I say… meme! (laughs) the truth is that yes, I am at home and I would love to win titles here.”

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid have no intention of selling Manchester United target in January – Romano

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Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Despite Jan Oblak’s form falling off a cliff last season, he arguably remains one of Atletico Madrid’s most important players.

Especially during a time when Atleti’s typically resilient defence has been faltering, the Slovenian shotstopper’s presence in the side is unquestionably vital.

However, Manchester United are reportedly attempting to prise away the 29-year-old from the Civitas Metropolitano. A new update from an ever-reliable source has revealed whether a move remains a possibility.

As per the latest information provided by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on The United Stand, Atletico Madrid will do their best to keep Jan Oblak beyond the current season.

There is some uncertainty surrounding the contract situation of the 29-year-old Atletico Madrid. While it is rumoured that he signed a new deal with the club until 2028 in July, an official announcement is yet to be made.

And Romano insists that the deal is not yet signed and contract discussions with the Slovenian are still ongoing. He adds that Los Rojiblancos are ‘super happy’ with their goalkeeper and want to ensure that they keep him at the club.

But if a new deal is yet to be signed, Oblak’s previous contract stands to expire next year. It has given way to rumours of a Manchester United swoop for him as early as January.

Manchester United’s need for a brand-new goalkeeper remains one of the most talked about conversations in European football. Despite David De Gea’s incredible spell at the club, Erik ten Hag is known to want a goalkeeper that is comfortable with the ball at his feet.

With the Spanish international profiling in the mould of an orthodox number one, the Dutchman’s progressive system demands the presence of a modern goalkeeper, above everything else.

Considering de Gea’s inability to morph his game in order to fit the said style of play, and his current contract expiring in 2023, there have been talks of a new goalkeeper coming in, with a January move for Oblak being touted.

From Atletico Madrid’s perspective, though, as iterated earlier, they are happy with the 29-year-old and are working towards extending his contract at the earliest possible, with Romano adding that they will do their best to ensure that he stays put at the club.

After all, the experienced campaigner has been one of the best players in his position, since his arrival back in 2014. With Oblak also being the vice-captain of the club, it is unlikely that they will sanction such a senior player’s sale in 2023

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