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ATLÉTICO MADRID

Arias: "James and I talked about Atlético"

Atlético Madrid's Santiago Arias revealed that he spoke with Colombia team mate James Rodriguez about the prospect of the Real Madrid player joining Los Rojiblancos.

In his second season with Atlético, Santiago Arias has fallen behind new signing Kieran Trippier in the pecking order at right back.

Trippier has impressed coach Diego Simeone since his arrival from Tottenham in the summer and dislodging the English international as the regular starter will be a tall order for the Colombia full back. 

Although in the two full games he has played this season – against Mallorca at the end of September in LaLiga and Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League last week – the 27-year-old defender played well enough to keep him at the front of Simeone’s mind. And should Trippier’s form dip, the Englishman will have the Mexican snapping at his heels to regain the regular starting position he enjoyed during his first season at the Wanda Metropolitano.

In an interview with Spain’s Onda radio station, Arias spoke about the relationship with his new team mate and fellow right back, revealing that they enjoy a healthy rivalry and suggesting he holds now grudges regarding the loss of his regular starting place.

“I have a good relationship with Trippier. We have a healthy competition. You have to respect that, you should never wish anything bad on anyone,” said the ex-Eindhoven player.

“More personally, we speak in English, as I learned the language in Holland. The important thing is to have a good team. Let the one who is better play. He has good virtues, you can learn from everyone.”

Santiago Arias in action against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League.

James Rodriguez and Arias spoke about Atlético

Following his return to Real Madrid from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, Arias’ Colombia team mate, James Rodriguez, was hotly tipped to make a quick turnaround, with coach Zinedine Zidane reportedly having no place for him in his squad.

However, circumstances played out that the 28-year-old midfielder has ended up staying at the Bernabéu despite having been heavily linked with a move to both Napoli and Atlético amid Zidane’s summer clear-out operation.

James has managed to find a place for himself again in Zidane’s squad after coming close to leaving in the summer. And Arias confirmed that the pair had spoken about the prospect of his compatriot joining him at the Wanda Metropolitano.

“We talked about the Atléti,” Arias confessed. “I asked him if the rumours were true and explained how things were here, but little else. There were options, but there was not much to talk about it because it was a club thing.”

Both James and Arias have been omitted from Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Algeria.