Fernando Torres made an emotional return to Atletico Madrid in 2015 but his second spell in the Spanish capital could be coming to an end.
Diego Simeone raised doubts about Torres’ future at the Wanda Metropolitano when he was asked in a press conference if he would do everything to make sure the 33-year-old remains at the club next season.
“No,” came Simeone’s blunt reply.
Torres is a fan favourite at Atletico Madrid but his return of five goals in 26 appearances, plus his increasing age, means he probably wouldn’t be missed if Los Rojiblancos allowed him to leave.
Speaking after Atleti’s 1-0 win over Copenhagen in the Europa League on Thursday, Simeone insisted any breakup wouldn’t be an ugly one.
"Torres and I are not interested in arguing, what interests us both is that the team wins," he said.
"We love the club and want what's best for the institution, there is no more to it than that."
What Atletico have proposed for Torres
But that won’t stop Atletico, who are currently second in La Liga, from attempting to push Torres out of the door.
According to Cadena COPE, and brought to our attention by Sport, the Spanish club are ready to offload Torres to the Chinese Super League.
Yannick Carrasco is set to sign for Chinese outfit Dalian Yifang and Atletico have proposed that they also sign Torres.
Dalian Yifang, who are set to sign Jose Fonte from West Ham, were promoted from the Chinese Super League after topping the China League One last season.
If not Dalian Yifang, then Atletico are happy for any Chinese Super League club to take Torres off their hands.
Torres doesn't want to rush into a decision
The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker hasn’t given an answer to his employer’s proposal; COPE claim he doesn’t want to rush into a decision because he has “good offers from all around the world”.
Many football fans would agree that Torres has earned the right to choose his destination, not for Atletico to do it for him.
On Carrasco’s impending move to China, Simeone believes it will benefit Nico Gaitan, who has been a bit-part player so far this season.
"The exit if it is confirmed is important," the Argentinian added.
"This is a player with a great future and a great present.
"It will represent a new opportunity for Nico Gaitan, who I have always had confidence in.
“We gave him 30 minutes [against Copenhagen] and he started to show that he has speed and great vision for the game and I'm confident he will continue to grow."