DIEGO SIMEONE has admitted trying to convince Lionel Messi to join Atletico Madrid this summer.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was expected to sign a new deal with Barcelona before it emerged dramatically that the Catalan giants couldn’t afford to close the deal.
Paris Saint-Germain rushed to sign the 34-year-old but not before Atletico tried.
Speaking to Ole in Argentina, Simeone announced that Messi’s close pal Luis Suarez called him to see if he would be interested in reuniting at the Wanda Metropolitano.
In quotes from Diario AS, the Atletico boss admitted: “I will tell you a detail.
“We called Luis after what happened in Barcelona [Suarez].
“With all due respect, I didn’t call Leo but I did call Luis to ask how Messi is doing and if he would be ready or if he had a small chance of coming to Atletico.
“But it only took three hours because PSG were obsessed with signing him.”
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Barcelona unceremoniously sacked Suarez, 34, in September 2020.
But it would come back to haunt them as Uruguayan’s goals catapulted Atletico to the title last season.
They also whipped Antoine Griezmann back to Atleti this summer, replacing him with former Newcastle flop Luuk de Jong.
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