Atletico Madrid News
Simeone talks Griezmann, Ronaldo, transfer market ahead of Real Sociedad vs Atletico
With the frenzy of the transfer market behind us, the focus shifts back to on-field footballing action. And La Liga title hopefuls Atletico Madrid will be in action on Saturday when they take on Real Sociedad at the Reale Stadium.
Diego Simeone’s side started the season strongly with a win over Getafe, but has somewhat stumbled since. They were beaten 0-2 by Villarreal and had to rely on a late goal from Antoine Griezmann to secure an unconvincing 1-0 win over Valencia last time out.
Atletico head into the weekend clash in sixth place in La Liga and will be hoping to close down the gap to neighbours and rivals Real Madrid, who will also be in action on Saturday.
In his customary pre-match press conference on Friday, Diego Simeone spoke about several topics, including Griezmann and his reduced playing time this season.
The Frenchman has played less than thirty minutes in each of the three La Liga matches for Atleti this season. It has given way to suggestions that Simeone has been instructed to use him for less than 45 minutes so that the Rojiblancos can avoid paying €40 million to sign him permanently next year.
Addressing those speculations, Simeone only managed to fuel them further, saying: “They have known me for 10 years, I am a club man and I always will be.”
Prior to that, the Argentine tactician had also stressed on the fact that it was important for any player to perform well for thirty minutes rather than playing an hour of bad football.
“I explain it to them in the same way that I explain it here. Trying to make them understand that many times entering 30 minutes is more important than playing 60 badly.
“Consequently, it is clear that everyone wants to play more minutes and that is why the coaches are looking for the best situations that the team requires.”
The Atletico Madrid manager was also quizzed about the club’s interest and pursuit of Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he dodged the question by replying: “Great match tomorrow, the one we play in San Sebastian.”
Talking about how he and the club dealt with the transfer market, Simeone said: “I followed the line that we had been talking about with the club and how the market was closed by Atletico. I lived it calmly, I trust the people we work with and we knew the planned path.”
“June, complicated, July accommodated but it was complicated, it seemed that four were leaving, three were coming. But the pandemic and the crisis that we have had influenced a lot. We could not sell and it generates difficulties,” he further added.
On the tough fixture schedule and the competitive nature of La Liga, he said: “From the beginning of the championship it was difficult. Getafe, Villarreal, Valencia… Now we are going to San Sebastián. La Liga is very competitive and all the teams play better.”
Speaking about Atletico’s opponents on Saturday, Simeone added: “They always try to hurt their rivals and it is increasingly difficult to defend with the variants that are proposed. It is difficult to press up against the quality of the other teams.”
As for the shape of his squad, the Atletico manager said: “Balanced squad, good replacements and the important thing is that they can compete with each other in a healthy way.
“Playing ability, that they can play in many positions, players that can play in various places, I’m happy with the group we have to compete and hopefully we can show it.”
Atletico Madrid News
Atletico Madrid, Chelsea contact PSG midfielder’s agent with player set to leave
Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are among the clubs that have made contact with the agent of PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes, who is set to leave this summer.
This claim comes from journalist Martin Arevalo on ESPN, who states that apart from Atletico and Chelsea, an unnamed third club have also established contact with the Argentine international’s representative.
Paredes has been on PSG’s books since January 2019, when he arrived from Zenit St. Petersburg. For a large part of his time at the French capital outfit, the midfielder had been a regular starter in the side.
However, last summer saw Paredes get shipped out on loan to Juventus. He has played 33 times for the Bianconeri this season with a return of one goal and assist apiece.
The Serie A heavyweights, who were recently hit with a 10-point deduction, have the option to purchase him permanently. But, as per the report, his relationship with manager Massimiliano Allegri is not good and a return to PSG is on the cards.
And considering that he is not in the plans back at Parc des Princes either, a permanent departure away seems set in stone for Paredes.
As such, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and an unnamed club have shown interest in acquiring his services by making contact with the 28-year-old World Cup winner’s agent.
With Koke entering the final phase of his career and Geoffrey Kondogbia expected to leave at the end of the season, the Rojiblancos could do with reinforcements in the centre of the park.
Paredes, who has plenty of experience at the highest level and is known for his aggressive mentality, can be a good fit into Diego Simeone’s setup at the Civitas Metropolitano.
But, with Chelsea also in the picture, things could get tricky for the Colchoneros. After all, Atleti are operating on tight finances and are looking for bargain and free transfer signings in the market with the likes of Marcus Thuram, Jordi Alba, and Raphael Guerreiro emerging as targets.