Torres will improve Atletico - Simeone

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is adamant that Fernando Torres' return to the club will improve the defending Liga champions.

Striker Torres is due to join Atletico on an 18-month loan deal when the transfer window opens on January 5 after making his switch to Milan permanent last Saturday, with Alessio Cerci expected to go the other way as part of the agreement.

The switch sees Torres return to his boyhood club, with whom he spent the first six years of his professional career, scoring 91 goals in 244 matches for Atletico prior to a move to Liverpool in 2007.

Torres has already begun training with his new team-mates.

And Simeone, who guided Atletico to a first Spanish title since 1996, is confident in Torres' abilities after his efforts so far.

"We keep improving, and Fernando's skills will help towards the club's common targets," Simeone said.

"His arrival is important for us. It's also a special moment for him. He arrives in a team that's worked well for years. So in fact we only need him to give us a hand with all his excitement, effort, talent and passion. That's all we want from him.

"I'm convinced he'll boost an already competitive squad, but he will also have to work hard and prove his great skills in order to fight for a place in the team with Raul [Jimenez], [Mario] Mandzukic or [Antoine] Griezmann. That will make us a better team.

"He feels fine. He's been working well, training with no problems. And depending on what we see, once he's available we'll decide whether he can play or not."

Atletico return to domestic action on Saturday following the mid-season break when they host Levante at Vicente Calderon.

Simeone's men are third in La Liga, four points behind city rivals Real Madrid as they bid to win the crown for a second straight season.