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Atletico set for late transfer business

Diego Simeone has admitted that Atletico Madrid could do some business late in the transfer window, while calling Fiorentina’s Adem Ljajic a good player and suggesting Martin Demichelis can leave for Manchester City.

Diego Simeone's hopes of leading Atletico Madrid to second ahead of rivals Real Madrid suffered a blow
Diego Simeone admits Atletico Madrid could do some business late in the transfer window

Asked about possible business after training on Wednesday, the Argentine said he did not see his squad as finalised yet.

“Until the market closes we are open to exits and arrivals,” Simeone was quoted as saying in AS. “That is football. We are used to it.”

Reports in Madrid suggest that Atletico are negotiating with Fiorentina for Ljajic, for whom Milan are thought to have had an €8 million bid rejected.

Questioned on reports that a deal could be done to bring the Serbian playmaker to Atletico for about €10 million, Simeone claimed to be just concentrating on Sunday’s La Liga opener at Sevilla, while letting slip that he did rate the player.

“I do not talk about people who are not with us,” he said. “I am only concerned with Sevilla. He [Ljajic] is a good player. All the players which big teams are interested in are good players.”

Rumours that Argentine defender Demichelis, who joined Atletico from Malaga in July, might be set to leave already to rejoin his former coach Manuel Pellegrini in England, were not rejected out of hand.

“I do not talk about speculation, about different versions,” Simeone said. “It is normal that you hear things about an important team like ours until the window is closed. The sporting directors look after the budgets. As a coach I am waiting for it to close, so that I can relax with the players who stay.”

One player definitely staying at the Estadio Vicente Calderon is Diego Costa, who appears to have leveraged interest from Liverpool into a new improved long term contract. Simeone said the news showed that Atletico could hold onto players who had brought success to the club in recent seasons.

“I am happy,” he said. “The club has done great work to maintain the structure of the team. Only Diego left because he was not ours and [Radamel] Falcao because it suited both parties. [Costa] has won his place in the team, but you live from day to day, he expects a lot from himself and we need him at his best. We hope he has the same motivation and will to win.”

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