Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis is hopeful that Radamel Falcao will think twice about leaving the club now that coach Diego Simeone has signed a new four-year contract.
Argentine coach Simeone said at Wednesday’s announcement of his new long-term deal that he hoped highly sought-after stars such as Falcao and Arda Turan would remain with him at Atletico next season, although he could not promise they would.
Colombian hitman Falcao has been widely expected to leave the Estadio Vicente Calderon club this summer, should any of potential suitors Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain meet the €60 million release clause in his contract.
Filipe told Friday’s AS that any of his team-mates pondering their futures were much more likely to stay now they knew Simeone was at the club for the long-haul.
“His new contract is really important for us,” he said. “For those who want to extend their own deals, it is the first step towards knowing you are at a club where the project is good, a great team fighting for trophies and, above all, with clear ideas. To know this is good for those who will come and those who were thinking about leaving. For anyone who wants to renew his contract and stay here more years, the most important thing is that Simeone is here.”
Filipe believes that all of Atletico’s players had improved during Simeone’s 15 months in charge, during which the team has won the Europa League and European Super Cup, outpaced city rivals Real Madrid in this season’s La Liga, and qualified for May’s Copa del Rey final.
“I have grown as a player,” he said. “Not just me, but all my team-mates. I am sure that he will keep going with the same intensity, strength and motivation to succeed that he has had since the first moment.”
Filipe’s progression was demonstrated by a recent recall to the senior Brazil squad by Luiz Felipe Scolari, and he played the last 20 minutes as a substitute in February’s 2-1 friendly loss to England at Wembley.
The former Deportivo La Coruna player said he was delighted Atletico team-mate Diego Costa, who recently suggested he might like to play for Spain, was now joining him in the Brazil squad for upcoming friendly games against Italy and Russia.
“I am very happy to be called up again,” he said. “It is difficult to keep in there, but with a lot of humility I will try, always fighting. Diego Costa could play in any national team. He will give us so much. It is good we have not lost him, because Spain have a very strong team.”