Diego Simeone reveals ‘trick’ he adopted to try to bring Lionel Messi to Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone admits he tried to convince Lionel Messi to join Atletico Madrid this summer.

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was expected to sign a new contract at Barcelona but the Catalan giants couldn’t afford to complete the deal.

Paris Saint-Germain quickly swooped in to sign the 34-year-old, but not before Atletico had a go.

Speaking to Ole in Argentina, Simeone revealed he had Messi’s close pal Luis Suarez give him a call to see if he would be interested in reuniting at the Wanda Metropolitano.

In quotes carried by Diario AS, the Atletico boss admitted: “I’ll tell you a detail.

“With what happened at Barcelona, we called Luis [Suarez].

“With all due respect, I didn’t call Leo, but I did call Luis to ask how Messi was doing and whether he’d be willing or if there was a small chance he’d come to Atletico.

“But it was something that only lasted three hours, because PSG were already obsessed with signing him.”

Luis Suarez thanks Erling Haaland over gift he sent to his son

Atletico Madrid star Luis Suarez has thanked Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland for the birthday gift he sent to the Liverpool legend’s son.

Suarez’s son Benjamin turned eight years old and received a surprise present from Haaland, who gave him a dedicated shirt of his that he signed with: “Happy Birthday Benjamin”.

The star striker shared a picture of his child smiling from ear to ear with the shirt on social media and thanked the Manchester United transfer target by calling him a “top player”.

Suarez posted on Instagram: “Top player… Very grateful for the dedicated shirt for my son for his birthday! A grand gesture…

“Keep working hard and many thanks once more!!”

Haaland has continued where he left off at Dortmund with a whopping 11 goals and four assists in eight matches across all competitions.

The Norway international is still monitored by some of Europe’s top hitters, such as United.

The Red Devils failed to sign the 21-year-old last summer but will try again next year when his £67million release clause becomes active.

Antoine Griezmann transfer to Barcelona gets messy as Atletico Madrid set to discipline player

There are reports Atletico Madrid will internally discipline Antoine Griezmann after the forward failed to turn up for the start of pre-season training.

Fotball Espana had reported earlier that Griezmann was informed via his agent that he would be expected to join the squad before leaving for the USA on July 7, and if the former Real Sociedad should go on strike, he would face disciplinary action from Atletico Madrid.

And, ESPN FC have now confirmed that the Diego Simeone side are poised to discipline the forward for going AWOL from the team.

It is the latest development in the ongoing dispute between the parties with the Frenchman attempting to force through a move to Barcelona.

The forward’s release clause dropped from €200m to €120m on 1 July but the Catalan giants have failed to deposit the specified amount in a lump sum payment, and instead would prefer to pay in instalments.

Los Rojiblancos will not negotiate on any sale for the player below his clause, with reports that he reached a contractual agreement with Barca in March – just days before Atleti’s Champions League exit.

Griezmann stated at the end of last season that he would be leaving the capital club this summer as he appeared set to join the Blaugrana, whom he rejected last summer before signing a long-term contract extension with Diego Simeone’s side.

“Logically a disciplinary process will be opened as Griezmann did not present himself for an official call-up with the club where he is under contract,” the report cites an Atletico source as saying.

Atleti have already signed forward Joao Felix from Benfica, who will theoretically replace Griezmann, while Paris Saint-Germain were previously linked to the Frenchman.

Fear of Chelsea’s move for Alvaro Morata grips Atletico Madrid

There are reports in Spain that Atletico Madrid are concerned that Chelsea will activate an option to cancel their loan arrangement for Alvaro Morata.

The striker is on an 18-month loan deal at Los Rojiblancos that will expire at the end of the forthcoming season, when it is expected Atleti will sign him outright.

The player is keen to remain in the Spanish capital and ‘will not countenance’ a return to Stamford Bridge, but, Diario AS reveal, that there is a clause in the agreement which could disrupt Diego Simeone’s side.

Chelsea have an option of ending the loan this summer, to which Atleti would be powerless, but the Spanish club would then have to pay €55m outright to sign the player permanently.

Such a bid, according to Football Espana, would trigger his purchase and contractually the West London club would be obliged to sell, but Atleti do not have the resources to carry out such an exercise whilst also strengthening their squad.

It is a summer of mass change at Los Rojiblancos and they wish to keep Morata a loan player this season before a permanent deal next summer, and are hopeful that Chelsea do not execute their option.

Atletico Madrid pull out of move for Chelsea star

Reports in Spain claim Atletico Madrid have pulled out of a move to sign Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso due to his €40m valuation.

The 28-year-old is, according to Cadena Cope, have been lined up by Los Rojiblancos to replace the outgoing Filipe Luis, who is out of contract at Atleti this summer, in the backline.

Alonso is viewed as a set-piece specialist and offers a goal threat but it is questionable if the West London club will sanction his exit in light of their FIFA-imposed transfer ban.

Football Espana cite previous reports that claimed he has been in talks with Atleti over the past two months but his lack of game-time in the Europa League final victory over Arsenal is said to have hastened his decision to seek a move elsewhere.

The Spain international has fallen behind Emerson Palmieri in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and is now said to want a return to Spanish football.

However, the exit of Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri – with whom Alonso did not have a strong relationship – to Juventus appears to have calmed his desire to leave.

Alonso came through Real Madrid’s La Fabrica youth system but did not make the grade in the first-team and has since represented several clubs, joining Chelsea from Fiorentina in 2016.