'I told the club and him what I think' – Simeone coy on Lucas to Bayern links
Posted On March 22, 2019
Defender Lucas Hernandez has been tipped for a big money move to the German champions, but the Atletico boss wants him to stay
Diego Simeone thinks Bayern Munich’s reported interest in Lucas Hernandez is “normal” but hopes the defender stays at Atletico Madrid.
Marca claimed this week that the Bundesliga champions are prepared to activate his release clause of €80 million (£72m/$91m) and bring him to the Allianz Arena when the January transfer window opens.
However, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo denied knowing about any such offer and insisted Lucas wants to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano.
And Simeone hopes he and the fans can show the France international that he should continue his career with Atletico.
“What I can comment on is that I talked with him, with the club, [and] everyone knows what I think and what I would like,” he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s La Liga game with Espanyol.
“Until today, he’s been with us and there are no possibilities of talking about if he stays or goes. If he’s available to play, he’ll play, but I don’t like talking about hypotheticals.
“As far as I’m concerned, we have a very important game between Espanyol, who are struggling because they’ve been undeservedly losing games on occasion and will demand a lot from us.
“As for Lucas, I told the club and him what I think of him and hopefully the fans will also show their affection.
“It’s difficult to suppose something that hasn’t happened. I don’t imagine things that haven’t happened, and if they do, I always imagine positive things. I’m optimistic.
“Lucas knows the affection we have, the footballer he is. It’s normal for Bayern to apparently want to pay his release clause. Then there’s the decision of Lucas and the club.”
Simeone also responded to comments made by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who accused his former Atletico boss of attacking the European champions to boost his popularity among fans.
The remarks came after Luka Modric criticised Simeone for what he considered “a constant need to undermine Real Madrid” after the Argentine said either Antoine Griezmann or Raphael Varane should have beaten Modric to the Ballon d’Or.
“I’m very respectful with him,” Simeone said of Courtois. “I don’t understand what he wanted to say.”