Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was never interested in bringing Chelsea’s Fernando Torres back to La Liga this summer, according to club director Gil Marin.
Torres, 30, left Chelsea on the final weekend of the transfer window after months of speculation to join AC Milan on a two-year loan, in a move which has likely brought his frustrating spell in west London to a close.
A lifelong Atletico supporter, the Spanish striker progressed through the ranks at the Vicente Calderon to be named captain of a side which featured Simeone himself at the age of just 19, scoring 82 goals in 214 total appearances between 2001 and 2007, before a £25 million switch to Liverpool.
Still considered a club legend, there were strong rumours linking Torres with a return to his childhood team with Diego Costa moving in the opposite direction but, while Marin has admitted that the option was there, Simeone instead wanted to explore other options.
‘We had looked into Fernando Torres' return,’ he told Spanish publication AS. ‘But Diego Simeone didn't ask me to bring him back, so we never opened negotiations about the move.’
Torres has since had a mixed start to life at Milan, scoring on his full debut but then failing to find the back of the net in his last three appearances.
Atletico meanwhile brought in Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich to replace Chelsea-bound Costa, as well as Mexico international Raul Jimenez from América, with the former recording four goals in 10 games, and the latter just one in six.