During an interview with Spanish program AS, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone had to fight off some intriguing questions related to Manchester United target Koke and Arsenal and Chelsea linked Diego Costa.
The Argentine boss, nicknamed El Cholo, has performed nothing short of miracles since becoming Atletico boss midway through the 2011/12 season. The ex-Inter Milan midfielder has helped Madrid’s less glamorous club lift the Europa League in 2012, before sealing a memorable Copa Del Rey victory over Real Madrid, beating their rivals 2-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Atletico Madrid are now one of the finest clubs in Europe, contenders for every trophy possible. However, as good as they are, they are still vulnerable to losing their key stars – with reference to the huge sale of Radamel Falcao last summer.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal amongst others have taken great interest in the pearls of Atletico Madrid – namely Diego Costa and playmaking midfielder Koke. Yet, Diego Simeone knows that even the very best have a price, and admitted to the Spanish press that no player is indispensable, including his top goal scorer, adding:
“Diego Costa has moments where he can score more goals more often. He is an extraordinary footballer, one where two selections like Spain and Brazil are fighting for him”
“Yet, Atletico has always had replacements, such as with Torres and Aguero. No one is indispensable. The most important is the club, Atletico has always lived from the club.
When quizzed on Koke and the interest shown in him, Simeone responded:
“I’m very happy when there are a lot of teams interested in our players. This speaks well for the club and for us. He is an important footballer for his characteristics for the future.”
Whilst both players are in the midst of a fantastic season, given an important summer coming up the possibility of either leaving the club during the January transfer window is small to say the least.
However, Diego Simeone’s words could be seen as playing down the chances of the Rojiblancos hanging on to their stars in the long-term, perhaps conceding that summers deals are inevitable if huge amounts are offered - something that will certainly interest the Premier League trio.
image: © azuaje