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The Argentine trainer side-stepped the issue of possibly losing his striker in the summer, and instead praised his squad despite losing out on a Champions League place

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has refused to be drawn into speculation regarding the future of star striker Radamel Falcao.

The Colombian forward has been integral to Los Colchoneros this season, scoring 36 goals in all competitions, including two strikes in the Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao. And that fine form has seen him linked with a number of high-profile suitors.

But Simeone was coy when talking about the possibility of losing the former Porto man in the summer.

“Now is not the time to talk about this,” the Argentine coach told AS. “We need to make sure Atletico are a competitive team next season, as we have been this season.”

The former Catania coach then went on to praise his team's campaign, despite losing out on a Champions League place due to Malaga's 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

“We hoped to reach the Champions League, but ultimately we could not get there. The players cannot be criticised because they gave their all. We just have to try and push forward to make it happen next year.”

Atletico finished the season in fifth place, just two points behind Malaga.

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