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Atletico Madrid president addresses future of Arsenal target after Barcelona loss: “I don’t know”



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid’s good start after the World Cup break came to a halt last night as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to FC Barcelona at the Civitas Metropolitano.

While Diego Simeone’s men put up a fight against the league leaders, they were unable to break the opponents’ rearguard and came out on the losing side.

One player who disappointed for Los Rojiblancos on Sunday at home was Joao Felix. The 23-year-old is currently facing an uncertain future at the club, having sought a departure after a falling out with manager Simeone.

The Portuguese international had looked good in their previous La Liga contest versus Elche and was handed a start by Simeone against Barcelona. However, he failed to deliver on the night and put in a meek display as his team lost out.

And, talking about the future of the wantaway forward after the game, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo told DAZN (h/t Fabrizio Romano):

“João Félix future? I always say the players play in the club that they want… I don’t know where João wants to play. I think he’s now feeling so good here at Atléti. It depends on João and on the situation.”

Felix has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United were interested but have moved on to other targets as they were unwilling to meet Atletico Madrid’s financial demands for a loan move.

Arsenal are another club keen on signing the 23-year-old and are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of the forward. However, a move would still depend on whether Atleti are willing to lower their €21 million total package demands to loan out Felix.

Even though there are still three weeks left in the January transfer window, Felix, as well as Simeone & co. will be hoping to seek a quick resolution on the matter of the former’s future.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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