Transfer news: 'Why wouldn't Fernando Torres return to Atletico Madrid?' asks Diego Simeone as Chelsea striker nears summer exit
Torres' troubled time at Chelsea appears to be nearing an end with Simeone saying he has remained in contact with Atletico Madrid, the club he was 'born' at
Fernando Torres could be on his way back to Atletico Madrid in the summer after manager Diego Simeone revealed he has remained in constant contact with the Spanish league leaders, asking ‘how could he not want to return to the club where he was born?’
Torres’ time with Chelsea appears to be drawing to an end as the striker is linked with a move abroad with both Inter Milan and Atletico among those interested in his services. Having struggled to replicate the form that stood him out as one of the most prolific goalscorers in football since his 2011 move to Stamford Bridge, Simeone believes a return to the Spanish capital would be just what the doctor ordered as the 30-year-old looks to regain his best form.
Speaking on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, Simeone said: “Torres is always in contact with the team to wish them luck and occasionally sends me messages.
“He is delighted with everything that’s happening at Atleti.
“How could he not want to return to the club where he was born?”
SImeone actually played with Torres during his time with the club, and the out-of-sorts striker captained the side between 2003 and 2007 – the sametime that Simeone was at the club before he returned to his homeland to end his career with Racing in 2005.
The news that Torres could return to Spain will be a major talking point ahead of the Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Atletico, especially given that reports in Spain have claimed that a mega-money deal is in place that would see Diego Costa head in the opposite direction.
And while Simeone realised it would be natural for a club like Chelsea to be interested in the Brazilian-born Spanish international, he stressed that for now, Costa remained an Atletico player.
Torres in action for Atletico Madrid in 2007, before he left to join Liverpool
“It depends on him and what he believes is best for his future,” said the Argentinian.
“I will support any decision. It is normal that Chelsea are interested in him. It has good economic potential. [Samuel] Eto’o is getting older and Costa can do their work, but for now he’s ours.”
Costa’s participation in the first leg of the semi-final clash with Chelsea looked to be in doubt when he collided with the goal-post in the act of scoring during the 2-0 weekend victory over Getafe, but Simeone has played down the collision – which forced him off with a nasty cut to his shin – and instead praised the 25-year-old for his commitment.
“Costa, in that gesture, exemplified how we want to play every game as if it is our last,” lauded his manager.
Simeone also stressed that he believes he will have goalkeeper Thibault Courtois available when they welcome the Blues to the Vicente Calderón on April 22, after Uefa ruled that a clause preventing the Belgian stopper from facing his parent club was deemed against the “integrity of sporting competition” and were “null, void and unenforceable” in the eyes of the governing body.
“I have no doubts he will play against Chelsea,” Simeone claimed. “He has no doubts either. It is not a concern. But we do not know where he will be playing next year.”
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