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Torres: I want to play for Simeone

Fernando Torres has fuelled speculation he could rejoin Atletico Madrid this summer by admitting he would love to work with Diego Simeone.

The Chelsea striker made his name at the Vicente Calderon before moving to Liverpool in 2007. He subsequently joined the Blues three-and-a-half years later for a British record transfer fee of £50million.

His time at Stamford Bridge has been blighted by poor form, however, and he is no longer regarded as a first-choice for club or country.

Goal revealed on Wednesday that Chelsea will listen to offers for Torres at the end of the season and that Atletico were leading the race for his services.

The 30-year-old lined up alongside Simeone when he was a player at Atletico and would relish the chance to work under the Argentine.

He told AS: “I’ve had a lot of admiration for ‘El Cholo’ ever since we were team-mates. He helped me a lot. He taught me how to be a captain; he taught me a lot in the seasons we played together at Atleti.

“I always want to work with people I admire. I admired Rafa Benítez from the outside, and I had the chance to work with him. The same goes for Jose Mourinho or Luis Aragones.

"I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who, when you saw them from the outside, you said: ‘What have they got, what’s their secret, why do all the teams they coach work well…?’

“Simeone is like [Pep] Guardiola or like other coaches, who you’d like to go and see how they coach and learn.”

Asked if he planned to return to the Calderon, he added: “In football, you never know. You don’t know where you’re going to be tomorrow, in a week’s time or in 10 years’ time. How can I answer that question!”

Torres’ primary concern heading into the final few weeks of the season is not where he’ll be playing in August but whether he can make the Spain squad for this summer’s World Cup finals.

“I’m going to work hard; that’s the only thing I know how to do and this final phase of the season is very important,” he said.

“The World Cup is around the corner, and the players who come into it in the best shape are the ones who will go.”

Torres was a member of the Spain side which won the 2008 European Championship and retained it four years later. He also claimed the Golden Boot for tournament top scorer as la Roja landed the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

“My numbers are there to see,” he said.

“I hope that this final phase of the season goes well for my team. We’re in there in the league and in the next round in the Champions League; it could be a great end of season.

“The more important games you play and the more you fight to win things, the higher the demands are and that’s when I’ve performed the best.”