– When Barcelona decided not to renew Lionel Messi’s contract in the summer, the rumour mill exploded into action with the unsurprising names of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain at the forefront of discussions, but Diego Simeone has revealed that Atletico Madrid also threw their hat into the ring.
– It was always going to be a long shot, but El Cholo had to find out if a dream collaboration with his compatriot might be a possibility. Los Colchoneros’ middle-man in the short-lived operation was none other than Luis Suarez, a close friend of Messi’s.
– “I’ll tell you something, when all that happened at Barcelona, we called Luis [Suarez] with nothing but respect,” Simeone told Ole magazine.
– “I didn’t call Messi, but I did call Luis and I asked him about how [Messi] was, what he was thinking, if there was the slightest, hypothetical chance that he might come to Atletico Madrid.
– “But that lasted all of three hours. Paris Saint-Germain were clearly obsessed with bringing him in.”
– You can’t blame Simeone for trying and try he did, even if his dream was quickly burst. It is perhaps a measure of where he has taken Atleti, however, that a conversation about trying to unite Messi and Suarez at Los Rojiblancos ever took place at all.