Diego Simeone has called for the summer transfer window to close earlier after a number of Atletico Madrid players were linked with moves away from the club with the season already under way.
ESPN reported earlier this week that Atletico forward Matheus Cunha was a target for Manchester United while Alvaro Morata had also been offered to the Premier League giants.
Joao Felix was linked with a move to Old Trafford by the Spanish newspaper Marca this week, while there has been speculation about the futures of Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasco, Marcos Llorente and Renan Lodi.
“It would be good for managers [if the window closed earlier],” Simeone said on Saturday in a news conference ahead of Atletico’s LaLiga game with Villarreal.
“I don’t know about agents and clubs!
“For us it would be good to start with the players we have and know that they’ll be with the team all year, or at least with a break in January. While [the market] stays open, all this [speculation] happens.”
Atletico impressed in their first game of the season on Monday, with Morata scoring twice — and Griezmann adding a third off the bench — in a 3-0 win at Getafe.
Simeone has five forwards to choose from, with Juventus’ decision not to make Morata’s loan move permanent meaning the Spain forward joins Felix, Griezmann, Cunha and Angel Correa in the Atletico squad.
Morata and Felix started the game at Getafe, with Griezmann, Cunha and Correa taking part as second-half substitutes.
“We’re only just beginning,” Simeone said when asked if Morata and Felix were in their best-ever form.
“It’s too early to say. They had a good pre-season, and they’re mature. We want them to keep going, starting tomorrow.”
The manager was more ambiguous when discussing the future of Griezmann, who is now in the second year of a two-year loan from Barcelona and looks set to feature in a deeper role.
“He’s adaptable because he has good vision and he works hard,” Simeone said about the positional switch.
“It allows us to play with another attack-minded player. Let’s hope he stays with us. We all know how much I love him and how important he is for the club and the team.”