Liga - Simeone: I want Man Utd star at Atletico

Diego Simeone says he won’t leave Atletico Madrid to take over the Argentina job after Alejandro Sabella stepped down, and that he still wants Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.

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Diego Simeone celebrates Atletico Madrid's La Liga triumph (AFP)

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Sabella was to leave his post with the World Cup runners-up and Simeone has been mentioned as a possible replacement.

But he said at a press conference to preview Atletico’s game against Mexican side Club America that he had a duty to remain with the champions.

“I wasn’t aware of Sabella’s decision to leave the Argentina team,” Simeone revealed, according to AS. “He did a great job and I wish him well. I have a commitment to Atletico that I made long ago.

“This is the club that opened the gateway to Europe for me and helped me grow as a coach.

“I’m very involved and I want to pay back Atletico’s commitment. I’m focused on Atletico and not thinking of Argentina.

“Besides, no one has spoken to me and we’re talking about assumptions. The Argentina team would be a place I would love to go, but now I’m Atletico.”

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Diego Simeone has overseen a period of success for Atletico Madrid (AFP)

Additionally, Simeone reiterated his interest in Manchester United's Mexico striker Hernandez, despite having already brought in forwards Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann this summer to compensate for the departures of Diego Costa, David Villa and Adrian Lopez.

Although an instant hit when he first arrived at Old Trafford, Hernandez has struggled to get into United's first team in recent years, starting just 15 Premier League games in the last two seasons.

However, Simeone still believes Chicharito would be an asset to his side.

"He's great in one-on-one situations and he's someone who could be useful to any team," the Atletico coach told a press conference in Mexico, ahead of his team's pre-season friendly with Club America.

"We are speaking to the sporting directors about the type of player we want and then it's up to them to bring the player in. With Javier Hernandez and lots of other great players, anything is possible. We can't close any door until the transfer window shuts."

Simeone also praised new arrival Griezmann, who officially joined Atletico from Real Sociedad on Tuesday for an estimated 30million euros (£24m), saying that the Frenchman was a more versatile player than Diego Costa, his side's top scorer last term who signed for Chelsea earlier this summer.

"Costa gave us speed, power and the chance to counter quickly, but Griezmann gives us more options," said the Argentine.

"He has enormous power and we'll have to see where he can perform best for us. At Real Sociedad and with France he's played on the wing so we'll see how he adapts to the team."

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Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez (PA Photos)


Simeone's decison to stay at Atletico makes perfect sense to us. Simeone is relatively early in his coaching career and would probably not want to drop the daily cut-and-thrust of club management at this stage as he still has plenty to learn. And with his taste of Champions League final action, who can blame him? The Argentina job will come to him eventually, but not now.

The chase of Hernandez, however, is an odd one, as one wonders where he would fit in given the signings of Griezmann and Mandzukic. Hernandez wants to leave United so he can secure a starting berth but it would surely be back to square one at Atletico, with both the France forward and the Croatia star expecting to be number one. Unless Simeone wants to change his formation, this looks a touch lavish.

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