Atletico Madrid manager has bluntly replied to forward Joao Felix who claimed that he knew where the La Liga champions issues have arisen, after a poor run of recent form
Diego Simeone has hit back at Joao Felix telling him that if he knows the route of Atletico Madrid’s problems “it would be good to know”.
Last season’s La Liga champions have endured a difficult title defence, with their hopes of retaining their crowd all but over amid a miserable run of form.
Atlei lost four on the spin in the month of December, before picking up seven points from a possible nine the month after, including a thrilling 3-2 win over Valencia.
However, they were thumped 4-2 by Barcelona last time out, leaving them fifth in the table and in a scramble to qualify for the Champions League.
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Felix, who was signed for £113million in 2019, admitted that there are “lots of reasons” behind his team’s current malaise, without going into any further detail.
“I don’t know. There are a lot of reasons, I can’t tell you one,” Felix told the Athletic. “We know what is happening, but I prefer not to talk about that.”
And in a typical Simeone fashion, the combustible Argentine responded to Felix in a bristly manner, telling the forward he should inform him, if he knows how to solve their issues.
“About what Joao said, you can ask him,” Simeone said. “’I work according to the team. If he is clear about what the problem is, it would be good to know.”
Felix, 22, has struggled to ever live up to the eye-watering £113m Atleti shelled out to Benfica in the summer of 2019.
Despite being a part of the squad which beat Real Madrid to the title last term, the Portuguese international admitted that it was a difficult campaign individually.
“It was a difficult season,” he added: “At the beginning, I was very good, then I got the injury and I played for six months with a broken bone in my foot.
“The people did not know that, they just found out after the surgery (following last summer’s European Championship).
“It was my choice to play this way, to try to help the team. It was difficult, yeah, but I felt part of it, part of the team.”
Meanwhile, Simeone is set to call upon son Guiliano for this weekend’s clash with Getafe, with Antoine Griezmann and Daniel Wass both ruled out.
Simeone has come in for criticism for his treatment of January signing Wass, after his ploy of trying to play him through an injury backfired.
“This is how I’ve always seen injuries, it’s nothing new,” Simeone said. “The difference is this time he had an injury. Hopefully he can recover as soon as possible.
“I haven’t apologised to him because normally when a player comes off, it isn’t anything serious and they can just run it off. This time it wasn’t but I’ve always done the same.”