Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez said he is solely focused on the World Cup with Uruguay and a showdown against Egypt star Mohamed Salah in Russia amid question marks over his future.
Gimenez has been linked with a move to neighbours and LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, who are reportedly ready to meet the 23-year-old’s €60million release clause.
However, Gimenez – a key member of Atletico’s triumphant Europa League campaign – insisted the World Cup is the only thing on his mind following Uruguay’s 3-0 win over 10-man Uzbekistan on Thursday.
“I don’t think on that,” Gimenez told reporters when asked if he thought about leaving Atletico. “I’m thinking on playing a good tournament and to prepare myself well for it, and that’s all.
“I feel good. I had played a lot of minutes specially at the end of the season and that’s always a plus for me, it gives me confidence. Physically I feel good, mentally I feel even better.”
Gimenez was on target in Montevideo as Uruguay played their final warm-up match before the World Cup.
— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) June 8, 2018
Luis Suarez doubled the lead from the penalty spot nine minutes into the second half after Giorgian De Arrascaeta opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark.
Gimenez sealed the victory with a header 17 minutes from the end as Uruguay turned their attention to the country’s Group A opener against Egypt on June 15.
All eyes are on Salah and whether he will be fit in time for the clash following a shoulder injury sustained in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Madrid in the Champions League final last month.
Gimenez said: “I hope he goes there, because he wants to play this World Cup. Personally I like to play against the best players of the world and Salah is one of the best, so I hope he goes.”
“This is like every other cup we had played before. Of course we are going for the victory, but fear is a factor which plays a role there too,” he added.
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