Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone admits that he tried to sign Lionel Messi through Luis Suarez after his fallout with Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Simeone reached out to Suarez, who was known to have very close relations with Messi, as a means to determine whether a deal could be struck between Atletico Madrid and the Argentine superstar.
The Argentine coach unfortunately never had the chance to coach his fellow countryman, with Messi remaining at Barcelona all these years, and Simeone unable to manage the Argentinian national team due to his duties at Atletico Madrid.
Via Jack Rathborn of The Independent UK:
“When what happened at Barcelona happened, we called Luis,” Simeone told Argentinian newspaper Diario Ole on Tuesday, with Messi eventually joining Paris Saint-Germain.
“I didn’t call Leo. But I called Luis to say ‘look, how is he? Would he be keen? Is there the slightest possibility… imagining that he could come to Atletico Madrid.”
Lionel Messi shared in an interview with L’Equipe that he had multiple offers from various clubs after his contract had expired on June 30 earlier this year. Among those clubs was Manchester City, which emerged as a potential destination for Messi, before ultimately signing with Paris-Saint Germain.
Messi admits that though his decision to join PSG came rather quickly, it wasn’t as straightforward as it would seem. He was eventually convinced by the project, the club’s ambitions, the players the club had acquired throughout the years.