Atletico Madrid will be keen to reach the break for the World Cup without any further dramas following a tricky first section of the season. Although they remain third in the La Liga table, their elimination from the Champions League and then subsequent failure to qualify for Europe have plunged Los Colchoneros into crisis.
With results, that drama can recede into the distance but one narrative that it appears to be here for the long-haul is the disconnect between Diego Simeone and Joao Felix.
It has led to multiple reports of discontent from Felix, with some even suggesting that he will leave the club next summer if Simeone does not.
“Despite what you might have heard about Joao Felix being on the market, I’m still told Atletico Madrid are trying to protect the player and they want to trust him for the future.”
He did admit that his relationship with Simeone was not the best though.
“The situation with Diego Simeone is not easy, so if they will receive a really important bid it could change; but there are still no official proposals.”
Increasingly it seems as if the two cannot coexist. Felix will demand a starting role, wherever it may be, something Simeone is not willing to concede. It should be said that this stand-off has happened beforehand, but the split seems increasingly hard to recover from this time round.