Atletico Madrid are back in competitive action on Thursday night in the second round Copa del Rey against Arenteiro, who have already been responsible for one upset this season. They beat Almeria 2-0 in the first round.
They will be without Joao Felix for that tie. The Portuguese forward has been the subject of much speculation after CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin admitted he wanted to leave, but Felix has missed the last two training sessions with a tonsil problem and has not recovered in time for this match.
📋 ¡Estos son los jugadores rojiblancos citados para el Arenteiro-Atleti! pic.twitter.com/VJIKgRywts
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) December 22, 2022
When asked about Felix, Simeone dodged the question.
“I want the best for Atlético, we are about to make 11 years here, giving everything I have so that the team and the club can grow. I care about winning, continuing to improve, growing, continuing to focus game by game, which we started eleven years ago and then everything that can happen will happen. Nobody is indispensable, nobody, and things will be as they have to be.”
Increasingly, it looks as if Felix is dispensable in Simeone’s eyes. Although Felix was a key player for Portugal at the World Cup, he has not started for Atleti in over three months.
It would be a surprise if a such a sizable deal for him were to be agreed in January, but the following six months are set to be uncomfortable for both parties ahead of what seems an inevitable end of their relationship.