Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has promised there will be an announcement soon on the future of Fernando Torres.
The striker, on loan from AC Milan, stated at the end of last month that there was “nothing new” on talks over a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
It was reported earlier this year that Simeone was not prepared to sanction an extension to Torres’ stay, but five goals in eight appearances from the 32-year-old has prompted speculation that a new deal has indeed been agreed.
And Simeone said on Friday that Atletico would confirm their decision soon, telling a media conference: “Torres did a very good job [against Barcelona], he will play as a starter again. Over the coming days the club will inform on what the decision is in this regard.”
Torres scored but was later sent off in the 2-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona this week, an incident which has caused huge consternation among Atleti players.
Defender Filipe Luis claimed after the match that Barca are “protected” by UEFA, while Simeone claimed he could not risk voicing his true opinion on the matter.
However, the Argentine insists his side’s sole focus is on their La Liga trip to Espanyol this weekend before they turn their attentions to the second leg with Barca at the Vicente Calderon.
“I don’t feel like there is tension, I see it as an important game, a beautiful one, nothing more,” he said.
“We said after the encounter what we thought of the game. The team showed the same strength, the bravery to play, and now we have a very tough opponent in Espanyol.
“We’ll have to play in a different way than we did on Tuesday. It will be four days between the games, we have been able to recover and we haven’t decided who will start. The priority is the game against Espanyol.
“We have to worry about doing well ourselves, and then, whatever happens [in the title race], so be it.
“Espanyol have a great counter-attack, they have great solidarity with the coach, they’ve become internally strong. I’m worried about Espanyol. Nothing else matters.”