Simeone happy with Theo Hernandez amid Real Madrid links

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Currently on loan at Alaves, the youngster's performances have caught the eye of the Merengue and they could meet his buyout fee

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone is relaxed over the future of Theo Hernandez after arch rivals Real Madrid were linked to a move for the teenage left-back.

France Under-20 international Hernandez is on a season-long loan with Alaves, where he has made 24 La Liga appearances and provided four assists.

The 19-year-old, whose older brother Lucas also plays at Atletico, extended his contract to 2021 with the capital club last year but Marca reported Real Madrid were ready to meet a €24million buyout clause.

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Speaking after his side's battling 1-0 win over Real Sociedad – Filipe Luis, the man currently playing in Hernandez's favoured position for Atleti scoring the only goal in the 28th minute – Simeone said he was happy with the youngster's progress amid the latest round of speculation, to which Saturday's derby at the Santiago Bernabeu provides an interesting backdrop.

"I always wish our players the best," he said. "When the season is over, we will start to get into those type of things.

"I spoke with Theo a month or so ago. We know what we said to each other.

"I am very happy with how he is doing."

Simeone thanked the home supporters at Vicente Calderon after his team moved three points above Sevilla in fourth, having played a game more than Jorge Sampaoli's men.

"We needed the fans at the end to support the team and feel like one more man," he added following a fifth consecutive win.

"When the fans are like that, the Calderon is marvellous."

Sociedad boss Eusebio Sacristan now finds his side outside the European places in seventh with eight matches to play and after Athletic Bilbao won 2-0 at home to Espanyol.

Eusebio was unimpressed by some perceived roughhouse tactics from Atleti after his side's current slump extended to one point from their past four games.

"We need to get back to our best level, quickly, as we're not there at the moment," he said.

"It was hard for us, as a team who like to keep the ball moving, to play against a team who stop you all the time, illegally and have no yellow cards shown." 

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