After months of speculation, Diego Ribas spoke to COPE radio to give insight into the rumours regarding his possible return to the Vicente Calderón.
The interview with COPE correspondent Pablo Bengoechea can be listened to here.
Reportedly, Diego Ribas was one player Diego Simeone specifically requested be signed for the upcoming season, but it appears as if the transfer is dead in the water.
This is what Diego had to say to his former coach:
“All I want to say to Simeone is thank you for your confidence. Everybody knows we have a special relationship. He’s one of the best trainers in the world and for me it was a pleasure working with him.”
The Brazilian, who played 43 games for Atleti, said he no longer thinks of moving back to Spain.
“Right now I’m only thinking about Wolfsburg. I don’t think Simeone’s thinking is the same as the club directors’. That’s why I’m staying here [at Wolfsburg]. I am happy here and I’m going to do the best I can to help this team.”
Diego also explained why his transfer to Atleti won’t be taking place.
“I have a year left on my contract. The relation that I have with the trainer, players, and the fans in Madrid is very strong, it’s incredible. But of course, every player has a price. It’s impossible to leave [Wolfsburg] if [Atlético] don’t want to pay.”
“It’s normal to request a transfer fee. If Atlético isn’t willing to make a minimal investment then it’s impossible. It’s up to Atleti if they’re willing to or not.”
In his interview, Diego appeared to be annoyed by Atleti’s unwillingness to compromise, something he says he has done and is willing to do again.
“The first time was in my first season, when I earned a million euros less than I would have earned at Wolfsburg. Then this time, again I was willing to make an effort. We reached an agreement, but not with Wolfsburg. You can’t expect someone to come without paying anything.”
“Football is like that, players have a price. Everybody knows I have great affection for Atlético, but for now, I’m happy in Germany.”
With Diego’s contract expiring next summer, can you see him joining Atlético on a free or is the relationship with the board beyond repair?