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Transfer news: Atletico Madrid considered audacious swoop for Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
(Image credit: PA)

Diego Simeone has revealed that he asked Luis Suarez if Atletico Madrid had a chance of signing Lionel Messi in the summer.

The Argentina international ended his 21-year association with Barcelona in August after the club confirmed they were unable to keep him.

The Catalan giants were not able to register Messi, whose previous contract had expired, due to La Liga's wage controls.

The 34-year-old joined PSG soon after, signing a two-year deal at the Parc des Princes.

Before that move was confirmed, Messi spent several hours with his former Barcelona team-mate and current Atletico striker Suarez.

The Uruguayan visited Messi's house to say his goodbyes and was pictured playing in his friend's swimming pool.

And Simeone says he asked Suarez whether it might be possible to entice the Argentine to Atletico.

“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.

"If you ask me where Messi has to play, I’ll say in a team that wants to win.

"In a team that knows what it needs to do to win. It doesn’t matter what position he plays; what matters is that the team is set up to win. Don’t think about him, think about the team."

Pressed on whether he had spoken to Messi in the summer, Simeone added: "No, nothing at all. It was like watching a plane go by in the sky."

It is hard to see how a deal would have been possible given Messi's salary, while the forward might also have been reluctant to play for another La Liga side.

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