The Argentine coach hoped to lure his compatriot to the capital with the promise of a reunion with Suarez and a team capable of winning trophies
Diego Simeone says he asked Luis Suarez to contact his former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi to find out if the attacker was open to joining Atletico Madrid.
Messi left Barcelona in the summer transfer window after his contract expired, a year after Suarez made the switch from Camp Nou to the capital.
Before the Argentina international’s move to Paris Saint-Germain was confirmed, Simeone asked his star forward to find out if he fancied joining the Spanish champions.
“I didn’t call Leo, but I did call Luis, to ask him how Messi was doing, whether he fancied it and whether there was the slightest chance of him coming to Atlético,” Simeone said to Ole.
“It was something that lasted three hours, because PSG already had their hearts set on signing him.
“So the chance to work with Messi has never come up. He was always at Barca [before joining PSG], I’ve been at Atletico and we didn’t coincide as players in the Argentina national team.”
Why did Simeone think Messi would join Atletico?
The Argentine coach hoped the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would be open to moving to Atleti because they can compete for silverware.
“If you ask me where Messi has to play, I’ll say in a team that wants to win,” he said.
Asked if he had any direct contact with Messi, Simeone said: “No, nothing at all; it was like watching a plane go by in the sky.”