Juanfran Torres says he is delighted to have committed his future to Atletico Madrid, after reportedly turning down a summer move to Arsenal.
Reports in Madrid suggest that the Premier League side had offered to quadruple the right-back’s previous salary, but the Spain international opted to remain at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, accepting a new improved contract which runs until June 2017 and contains a €10 million release clause.
The former Real Madrid and Osasuna player told Atletico’s official website that he was proud to be staying at the club for the long term.
“I want to say I appreciate that the club and the boss have shown such confidence in me,” Juanfran said. “I am very proud to wear this jersey and this badge for many more years.”
The news follows on from similar renewals by Colchoneros stars, including Diego Costa, Miranda and Koke in recent weeks.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone -- who himself signed a new contract during the summer -- told AS that this was part of a policy by the club to retain the players who had been successful over the last two seasons.
“Without a doubt the club has set out to preserve the structure which has allowed us to be competitive,” Simeone said. “They are players who feel they belong to the club. It is healthy, whoever is the coach. It makes me happy. It is good to have this identity.”
The two new players signed late in the transfer window -- Toby Alderweireld from Ajax and Josuha Guilavogui from St Etienne -- would help to deepen Atletico’s resources, Simeone maintained.
“I am happy with the new players,” he said. “Toby is an international with Belgium, with enormous potential. They are young guys. Josuha, the same, young and French. If [France coach Didier] Deschamps has already called him up, it makes you think he is on the path to being a big player. They both make the group bigger.”
Atletico had hoped to also sign playmaker Diego Ribas from Wolfsburg during the summer, but not completing that deal meant that 18-year-old Oliver Torres would get more first-team experience this season, El Cholo suggested.
“We have Oliver who we need to be careful with so that he keeps improving,” Simeone said. “He does not have the experience that Diego has, but he has a lot of potential.”
Simeone said that Martin Demichelis leaving for Manchester City just weeks after joining Atletico from Malaga had been a personal decision made by the former Argentina international.
“I am happy for a player who found himself in a big situation,” he said. “He saw an opportunity to grow, and he saw it as an important opportunity. He behaved well with us, and was very direct. I wish him the best in his new stage.”