Diego Simeone has chosen not to reveal the outcome of his talks with Fernando Torres over the striker’s Atletico Madrid future.
The 31-year-old’s deal at the Vicente Calderon is due to expire at the end of the season and, despite club captain Gabi giving his backing to Atleti making Torres’ move from AC Milan permanent, there has yet to be any concrete progress in negotiations.
A FIFA registration ban, set to prevent the Liga side from bringing in new players during the next two complete transfer windows, is likely to complicate matters should the club’s appeal against the sanction fail.
Simeone has confirmed talks have taken place between himself and Torres, who has not played since January 6, but refused to elaborate on the player’s future.
“We’ve spoken with Fernando,” he told the media on Tuesday. “He knows what I think and he’s told me what he thinks. The chat stays between us, but we’re still calm.”
Simeone would not rule out some departures before the end of the transfer window, however.
Atleti have already bolstered their squad with the arrival of Augusto Fernandez and Matias Kranevitter, the latter having come to the end of a loan spell at River Plate.
“You’re always unsettled during transfer windows,” Simeone said. “There are agents talking, directors thinking of the best possible things for us. Hopefully whatever is decided will give us the chance of staying competitive.
“It’s normal that the boys are thinking about the need to play. They’re footballers and the best thing about sport is competing.”
Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Tuesday that he would not consider a change in the scheduling of the Madrid derby on February 27, despite Atletico’s frustrations that the game will take place just three days after their trip to face PSV in the Champions League round of 16.
Simeone, however, would not be drawn into the debate over the fixture timings, adding: “In life, there are excuses and realities. I live in realities, because that’s what there is. There are always people who manage this kind of situation but unfortunately we’re on the sidelines. We can only prepare ourselves and stay strong.
“The most difficult game is against Celta Vigo [in the Copa del Rey] because it’s tomorrow. We know what the difficulties are, we know how we are and how our opponent is, we’ve learned a lot in the last few days. It will be an intense game.
“I’m focused solely on the game with Celta. Thinking about another would be dangerous for tomorrow.
“We play every game as if it were a final. We know the importance the Copa has, how beautiful it was to receive it at the Bernabeu [in 2013], and we give it a lot of care and respect. We’ll play with the intention of doing the best we can.”