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'These decisions are not easy' - Juanfran delays decision on new Atletico Madrid contract

8:59 AM EDT 4/14/19
Juanfran - cropped
The experienced defender has grown frustrated with the lack of game time at the Wanda Metropolitano and could leave this summer on a free

Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran has said he will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to sign a new contract with the club.

The 34-year-old agreed a one-year extension last June but has struggled for game time this season, making just 14 starts in La Liga.

Despite a new deal being on the table for the former Spain international, he says he will delay making a decision until the campaign's conclusion.

"I have been offered a new contract, but I have postponed it," Juanfran said. "The important thing now is the team and ending the season strongly. 

"Atletico have shown a lot of faith by this offer, but these decisions are not easy and I will speak with my family before I decide.”

The right-back joined Atleti in January 2011 from Osasuna and in nine years with the club has played almost 350 games.

However, this season he has fallen down the pecking order at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Santiago Arias establishing himself as the first-choice right-back.

Juanfran has himself become something of a club legend for Los Rojiblancos and is one of the remaining members of 2014 title-winning squad.

The full-back has also won the Copa del Rey in 2013, the Europa League in 2012 and 2018 and was twice a runner-up in the Champions League.

If this is to be Juanfran’s last season at Atletico, it looks unlikely to end without a trophy given the side are nine points off top-of-the-table Barcelona and have been eliminated from the Copa del Rey and Champions League. 

The defender could also be joined by fellow defender Diego Godin in leaving the club this summer, with the Uruguayan linked with a move to Inter.

Up next for Atletico is a trip to Eibar on Saturday before they host Valencia and Real Valladolid in their upcoming matches.

It looks likely to be something of a limp end to the season in the Spanish capital, with Atletico having little to play given they are so far behind Barcelona, yet have all but secured a Champions League place for next season.