Simeone unsurprised by Godin speculation as Juventus seek Uruguay star

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The Atletico Madrid boss remains unruffled by rumours of interest from Serie A in the defender, but refuses to rule out a departure either.

Diego Simeone has not ruled out the possibility of Diego Godin leaving Atletico Madrid as speculation intensifies that the Uruguay international may depart the Spanish capital for Juventus.

Godin, who played a starring role for his country on their journey to the quarter-finals at the World Cup in Russia this year, has emerged as a transfer target for the Bianconeri as Massimiliano Allegri looks to strengthen his defensive options ahead of the new Serie A season.

Juve already have Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele Rugani in their backline but the latter is reportedly close to a switch to Chelsea in the Premier League, leaving a vacant spot for Godin to fill.

Speaking to a media conference ahead of Atletico’s rematch against Europa League semi-final rivals Arsenal in the International Champions Cup in Kallang, Singapore, Simeone refused to dismiss the claims out of hand and instead stressed his desire to take his team to the same level as the Italian champions.

"It's normal, we're used to the fact that the best players want to go to the best teams," the Argentinian said. "It does not surprise me at all. It's not just Godin but also true for the big players.

"I can say that this club is growing, it wants to compete with the best clubs in the world. This is going to be an exciting year for our supporters."

Simeone also expressed his enthusiasm at having Gelson Martins on board at Wanda Metropolitano, after the Portugal international signed a five-year contract to join the Rojiblancos having previously spent all of his senior career at Sporting.

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"Gelson is a lad who's constantly improving," added the Atleti boss. "We saw it last year and his characteristics can help us.

"He'll give us competitiveness on the right wing and offensively if we play with three up front."

Atletico face Arsenal and then Paris Saint-Germain in the ICC in south-east Asia, at Kallang’s National Stadium, before they return to Europe to play the final game of the tournament on home soil as they host Inter in Madrid.