Simeone trusts in 20-man Atleti squad

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has decided to limit his squad to 20 players for next season, reports AS.

The Argentine met President Enrique Cerezo, general manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin and director of football Jose Luis Caminero for dinner in Segovia last week, where it was decided that a more manageable playing staff would be in operation next term, although Simeone will still be able to call upon the club’s youngsters in case of emergency.

Of the current group of 26 players, six will be jettisoned before the start of the 2012-13 La Liga campaign in mid-August: Joel Robles, Micael, Diego Costa, Leandro Cabrera, Fran Merida and Paulo Assuncao.

The rest – unless Los Rojiblancos receive an offer they are unable to refuse – will remain part of the set-up at the Vicente Calderon, but the idea is that there will be no additions or departures until at least the next transfer window as Simeone has been particularly pleased at the way some of his players are comfortable in more than one position.

Eduardo Salvio, for example, can play on either wing, midfielder Juanfran can fill in at full-back or out wide, while Raul Garcia is equally at home in a more advanced role or helping out in defence.

These 20 players will be joined by kids from the reserves, who will train with the first team but ply their trade in Segunda B, as is the case with up-and-coming youngsters such as Oliver, Saul Niguez and Javier Manquillo, for whom Atletico have rejected loan offers from other clubs.

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