Thursday, February 21, 2019

Simeone respects fan views after protests against Morata signing

SoccerNews in La Liga 26 Jan 2019

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Diego Simeone says the opinion of Atletico Madrid fans should always be respected after some supporters protested against the proposed signing of Alvaro Morata.

The Spain striker has been tipped to join the LaLiga club on an initial loan deal following Gonzalo Higuain’s move to Chelsea from Juventus.

Atleti fans voiced their disapproval of a deal for the former Real Madrid man on Saturday, though, with chants of ‘Less Morata and more Borja Garces’ heard during the 2-0 league win over Getafe at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Garces is one of Atleti’s most highly regarded youngsters, having been compared to fan favourite Fernando Torres after scoring on his league debut against Eibar in September.

When asked about the chants, Simeone told a news conference: “The fans’ opinion is always respectable. I look for players who serve the club and the team.”

Nikola Kalinic was given a standing ovation when he was taken off during the second half of Saturday’s game, with the Croatian expected to leave Atletico should Morata arrive.

Simeone, however, would not confirm whether or not the forward will stay.

“I’ve always said what I think of Kalinic,” he said. “He’s gone from less to more. He’s behaved very well in the group and given his all. He responded to what the team needs and is growing.”

There were concerns for Atleti when Diego Godin was unable to appear in the second half due to a thigh problem, but Simeone does not think it is a major injury.

“The fans love him very much,” he said of the centre-back. “He has earned the affection of the club and the fans. He went off in some discomfort, but we hope it’s nothing.”

Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez secured the win for Atleti, who are back to within two points of league leaders Barcelona.

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