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Simeone: "I have told the club and Lucas what I think"

The Atlético Madrid manager was batting away questions about Lucas Hernández moving to Bayern Munich during his pre-Espanyol press conference.

Simeone en rueda de prensa.
Rodrigo JiménezEFE

Diego Simeone spoke to the press ahead of Atlético Madrid's clash with Espanyol at the weekend.

Can you say for sure that Lucas will continue with Atlético in January?

"What I can say is that I spoke with him, with the club and everyone knows what I think and what I would like. Today, he is with us and there is not chance to say if he continues or if he goes. If he is available, he will play but I don't like to talk about assumptions. The guy is here."

What do you make of Courtois' declarations about saying things to earn popularity amongst Atlético fans?

"I am very respectful with Courtois and I don't understand what he wanted to say."

Do you consider yourself a populist?

"I think I am Diego. I am Diego Pablo Simeone with my defects and my virtues."  

Had the Griezmann renovation created a bad atmosphere in the dressing room?

"Aside from the information about Lucas, you have to find things to speak about and that is understandable. What I am thinking about is that we have an important game against Espanyol, who have been losing games undeservedly and they will demand a lot from us. Gabi returns to the Metropolitano where he left a while ago. An important moment for the people. With Lucas, I said it to the club what I think and I hope the people show their affection, also towards Gabi, who understands the club and gives the best image of Atlético that we have."

Would you understand Lucas' decision to leave Bayern?

"I think about him being here, I can't get away from that. To speak about imaginary situation, things that haven't happened, they fill pages but they haven't happened...I understand the need to find situations that generate this and they do it very well."

If Lucas left, what would it mean for the team and for you?

"It's difficult to think of something that didn't happen. I don't imagine things that haven't happened, and if I do I always imagine positive things. I am very optimistic. Lucas knows the affection we have for him, the footballer that he is, it's notmal that Bayern are apparently willing to pay the clause and it's his decision and the work the club does with him."

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