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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone denies Everton move rumour

Argentine has been reported to be target for Premier League club since sacking of Ronald Koeman

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid are way behind Barcelona in the Primera Liga title race this season. Ballesteros / EPA
Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid are way behind Barcelona in the Primera Liga title race this season. Ballesteros / EPA

Diego Simeone has dismissed speculation linking him with the managerial vacancy at Everton and said Atletico Madrid would have to "put up with him" for at least another two years.

The Argentine had been reported as a target for the Premier League club, who dismissed Dutch manager Ronald Koeman last month after a poor start to the season.

Simeone is under contract with Atletico until 2020, and told the Spanish media at a news conference to preview Saturday's match against Real Madrid: "As I've said on various occasions, my future is tied to Atletico. They are going to have to put up with me for the next couple of years at least. I'm absolutely sure about that."

Atleti's star striker Antoine Griezmann is also the subject of continued speculation. He remained in Spain in the summer despite interest from Manchester United but he continues to be linked with a move away.

Much has been made of Griezmann walking away from pre-match team photos, as though it is a sign he lacks commitment to the cause, but Simeone insists the opposite is true.

"The other day, they took the team photo just as he was leaving to take up his position on the pitch," Simeone said.

"And it makes it seem that he doesn't want to be in the photo. I can understand journalists' take on it - but he always does that.

"He's the most skilful player we have, the most important player we have in attack. What I see in Griezmann is enthusiasm.

"The team is enjoying a good league campaign but we haven't seen Griezmann's best moment yet. And that's what I'm really looking forward to."

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Read more

Madrid derby: Key battle as both sides playing catch-up against Barcelona

Troubled times for Atletico as Griezmann out of form and the defence shaky

Going wrong at Real: Misfiring Ronaldo, lack of squad depth and fatigue

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