Wednesday, May 22, 2019

No Morata deal yet, insists Atletico boss Simeone

SoccerNews in La Liga 25 Jan 2019

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Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid’s pursuit of Alvaro Morata is far from done despite Chelsea signing Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus. 

Morata has been linked with a return to LaLiga this month after struggling to adapt to both life in the Premier League and Maurizio Sarri’s style of play at Chelsea. 

Sarri has deployed Eden Hazard in a central role in recent weeks, pushing Morata further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. 

The arrival of Higuain is now likely to see Morata leave the club, with Sarri revealing on Wednesday that the 26-year-old had told the club last month he wanted to go. 

Sevilla were linked with the Spain international but Atletico have emerged as the clear favourites for his signature. But, while Simeone is a fan of the player, Morata remains at Chelsea for now. 

“It hasn’t been done yet,” he told a media conference. “Beyond all the wonderful words you have been saying, there is nothing done. 

“What matters is what it is done. 

“We are who we are here and we have to be smart approaching tomorrow’s game. And if, finally, Morata’s transfer becomes something real, I will speak on my thoughts.” 

Atletico’s pursuit of Morata is thought to be driven by Nikola Kalinic’s failure to make an impact in the Spanish capital, but Simeone insists the Croatia international remains a key part of his squad.

“I count on Kalinic and I count on all the players who are in our squad, being injured or not, and trying to get their best,” he added.

“He has been so professional since he arrived here. And you know me, I treat players the same way they act day by day.

“And from a sporting point of view he has been performing better lately. He didn’t come as his best, he took care of it and worked hard.

“He took the chances and he has been important player when he had to play. He will play tomorrow and hopefully he will perform the same as lately.”

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