Atletico Madrid made an audacious swoop to sign striker Alvaro Morata from rivals Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.
The Spanish forward was bought back by Real Madrid for £30million after spending two seasons at Juventus, and Premier League clubs have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old.
However, they were apparently put off by the £60million that Real had slapped on him, though Diego Simeone was not.
Spanish newspaper AS claims that Atletico made an ‘official offer’ for Morata that was refused immediately, with a message that stated they “would not be selling any of their players to their neighbours”.
Atletico were linked with a move to bring Diego Costa back to the Vicente Calderon, but Chelsea refused to sell so they eventually secured the signing of Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla for a reported €32million.
“He’s a Madrid player, we’re delighted with him,” he said.
“We are delighted to have him back, back to his original home. He will remain a Madrid player.”
Morata admitted in May (while still at Juventus) that although a Madrid return was his ideal situation, there were tempting offers from England.
“I know exactly what I want to happen,” Morata said. “I want to succeed at Madrid, but there are great players at Madrid. What I want is to play and to feel important. Next year I will play at the team where I have most chance of doing that.
“There are some tempting offers from England, but not just for the [big] contracts,” he said. “I believe that for my style of play the Premier League would be a great destination.”