In a press conference held after the match against Universidad Las Palmas, Atlético coach Quique Sánchez Flores deemed reports of a turbulent relationship between him and striker Diego Forlán “outrageous.”
Reports in the Spanish media alleged that Atlético was looking to offload Forlán to rivals Real Madrid and that Quique would do nothing to stop Forlán from leaving, given their rough relationship.
The tactician, however, claimed that the rumours were baseless and assured reporters that his relationship with the Uruguayan is “super normal.”
“There are days when I don’t read the papers. I found out about the news when I arrived to the dressing room, and I wouldn’t give it any importance.
“I think it’s outrageous, but I’m not going to deny something that didn’t even occur,” he said.
“My relationship with Diego is super normal, and when Diego completely recovers, we will all be very happy and people will no longer talk about things that don’t even exist.”
After dismissing allegations of a potential deal for the Uruguayan, Quique went on to comment on the positives and negatives of the return leg against Universidad that ended in a 1-1 draw.
“The best thing was qualifying to the next round, it had already been secured but, nonetheless, it was good for us because we were eager to watch the younger guys compete.
“The worst thing was Diego Costa’s expulsion,” he said.
Costa was given his marching orders just before half time for elbowing an opponent in the face, forcing his team-mates to endure fully 45 minutes of play short-handed.
“It has been a difficult match with Diego’s expulsion, in spite of that, the players met my expectations.
“Koke and Alberto Perea are good players with the ball, and Pulido was very focused,” said the coach.
“My evaluation of them is a positive one, but it would have been better if they could have played with eleven men. We could have won the game.”