Diego Simeone offered ’35 million reasons’ to leave Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone has claimed he was given “35 million reasons” to quit as Atletico Madrid coach, but rejected approaches in order to bring more silverware to the Vicente Calderon.

Simeone has been linked with roles at Chelsea and Inter in the past year, while the Argentine has also been mooted as a possible replacement for Arsene Wenger – the Arsenal manager who was reported to be the subject of a £30million offer to manage in the Chinese Super League.

While the Atletico boss did not reveal the origins of his own money-spinning offer, he said that it arrived as he was contemplating his future in the aftermath of a painful penalty-shootout defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last May.

He told AS: “If I’d wanted to move to another club, then I had 35 million reasons to go, 35 million reasons!

“But in the end I didn’t go because I didn’t want to and I still don’t want to. I still feel a strong sense of identity with the club and in what I do here on a day-to-day basis and have a massive attachment with the squad and feel that we are still raw recruits.”

In September, Simeone redrafted his Atletico contract, which had been due to expire in 2020, with the new end date coming in 2018.

Nevertheless, he remains committed to the Rojiblancos.

“The club are having an excellent time at present but there is room for improvement,” he explained.

“We’re about to move to a new stadium, our budget is improving and with God’s help we’ll stay in the Champions League and that in turn helps us too.

“I’ve already stated that I plan to stay.

“Look at how difficult it is to get a starting place in our team as the past five years have seen the likes of Juanfran, Gabi, Koke, [Diego] Godin, Saul [Niguez], Tiago…

“The exciting thing is that now the team is compensated by young talents such as [Yannick] Carrasco, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Angel] Correa…

“Did you see Lucas [Hernandez] play? He’s got a huge future at the club, what a player! This is a guy who could play for Bayern or at Real Madrid. He’s got it all, technical skill, intensity and is in fantastic condition. And he’s our player, one of our own, you get me?”

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