Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno has admitted he came close to joining Atletico Madrid this summer before a move broke down.
A multitude of reports in summer claimed a deal was close while a report from August in Marca claimed Atleti ‘were certain’ the move will be processed and it just a matter of time until there is official confirmation.
A report from Calciomercato this month claimed Los Rojiblancos have been given encouragement to return for the striker in January, having previously been unable to conclude a deal.
It had been claimed that the Spanish capital club are totally confident in concluding a deal for the striker for a €60m fee, with the idea that he would add competition with Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata.
“In football things are only real when there is a signature and everything is sorted,” Rodrigo told ABC, as cited by Marca.
“But yes, I was very close to leaving. In the end, I belong to Valencia and I knew that the clubs were the ones that had to be fixed and from there I already decided what interested me the most.
“It was a situation that I thought was good for me. The club also considered it and so it had been transmitted to me.
“It was not a disappointment to stay in Valencia or not signing for Atletico, I have not died or anything like that. I never felt I was a former Valencia player or that I was an Atletico player.
“Marcelino's departure and everything that is happening there is not easy. But the group is very close, has been working together for two years and we have a lot of team spirit.
“We know how we play, what we are and what we represent. Things are returning to normal.”
Reports have claimed that the excellent relations between Atleti CEO Miguel Angel Marin, Valencia’s president Peter Lim and super-agent Jorge Mendes could smooth any deal.
The striker had struggled a little for form last season – netting 17 goals in all competitions (45 matches) but just eight in 33 La Liga appearances.
A report earlier this month from the highly reputable Valencia-based journalist Hector Gomez claimed an unnamed English club had submitted a €60m bid for the striker, but no move came to fruition.
The 28-year-old joined Los Che in 2014 from Benfica, initially on a loan deal and has gone on to win 17 caps for Spain, scoring four times.
The Brazil-born striker began his career at Real Madrid and also had a short playing stint at Bolton Wanderers, while Barcelona have also been linked with a move for the player.