• Premier League

Simeone open to summer Torres approach

ESPN staff
March 23, 2013
Could Fernando Torres return to his boyhood club in the summer? © Getty Images

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has opened the door to Fernando Torres making a return to his former club this summer, after rumours of a possible swap deal that would see striker Falcao joining Chelsea resurfaced.

Torres has been unable to reverse a startling loss of form since his £50 million move from Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011, and not even the arrival of his former Anfield mentor Rafael Benitez as interim Blues boss has helped him regain the confidence that made him one of the world's premier strikers just a few years ago.

Now it seems as if the 29-year-old may be offered a route back to his Spanish homeland, after Simeone hinted he would relish the chance to link up with his former Atletico Madrid team-mate all over again.

"Fernando Torres is currently playing for another team and we have to wait for the season to finish and decide which of the available players could come here and do a good job," Marca quotes Simeone as saying.

"Fernando knows about the club's history, what it means to play here and I don't need to speak about his ability. We were team-mates. I know how important he can be."

Simeone would not be drawn on speculation that Torres could move back to Atletico as part of a swap deal that would see Colombian striker Falcao make the switch to Stamford Bridge, but he was less than convincing in his hope that the club's leading marksman will extend his stay in their squad.

"I'm not Falcao and I'm not his agent," Simeone said. "I'm the manager and have the utmost respect for him, because he gave me so much at River Plate and has done the same here.

"He always gives his all and I really respect players who do that, but everyone makes their own decisions in life. Every person is different, and we have to respect each other. Those who stay are always going to be the best."

Torres has failed to score in his last 11 Premier League games for Chelsea, with his woeful form forcing Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque to drop him from his squad for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

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