MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone wants to hold on to defender Filipe Luis amid reports the player has received an offer to join Paris St Germain, and said having the transfer window open at the start of the season is a distraction.
“All I can say about Filipe Luis is that the player knows how much we love him and how important he is for us,” Simeone told a news conference ahead of Atletico’s La Liga opener against Valencia on Monday.
“Tomorrow he will play and I’m only thinking about tomorrow’s game and how important it is. I always want the best for the players who have given us so much and obviously I don’t want Filipe to leave.”
According to a report in newspaper Marca, the Brazil international was disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up for Atletico’s 4-2 win over Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday and has asked the club to accept an offer from Ligue 1 champions PSG.
Filipe Luis, 33, has been at Atletico since 2010 although he spent one season at Chelsea before rejoining the Spanish side in 2015.
Simeone said he would like the La Liga to follow other competitions such as the Premier League and Serie A which from this season have decided to close their transfer windows the day before the season started.
“It would be better for coaches to work knowing that the transfer market ends before the league starts. It’s not easy to work when there are still lots of things going on,” added the Argentine coach.
“In other countries they have taken the initiative to shorten the transfer window and that makes everyone more calm, especially footballers who might have options to leave in their head.”
Atletico finished runners-up last season and their game with Valencia, who came fourth, is by far the most intriguing of the opening round of fixtures in Spain.
“We’ll be facing one of the most important teams in the league, a team who have never stopped growing since (coach) Marcelino arrived,” Simeone said.
“They play in a similar way to us, there are obvious differences between the coaches but a lot of similarities in the two teams’ structures.
“We expect a great atmosphere, a lot of people in the stadium and a lot of enthusiasm. It’s a great occasion and we hope it will be a great game.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)