The Spanish side received a massive offer for the centre-back but have refused to sell him just yet
Atletico Madrid rejected a £78 million (€85m/$99m) offer from Manchester City for defender Jose Gimenez, the La Liga club’s president Enrique Cerezo confirmed.
Gimenez, 25, has been linked with a move to City and AS reported earlier this month that Atletico had turned down a big-money offer from the Premier League club.
Cerezo confirmed the La Liga giants had received the offer from City, but wanted to keep the defender – who tested positive for coronavirus on Monday – at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“We did receive the offer,” he told El Transistor. “But Gimenez is a magnificent player and we are interested in having magnificent players in the team.”
Gimenez joined Atletico Madrid in 2013 from Uruguayan club Danubio and has gone on to become a first-team regular under Diego Simeone.
South American football expert Tim Vickery recently expressed his belief that Gimenez could prove to be a shrewd albeit expensive buy for Pep Guardiola’s side.
“Gimenez is one of the best young centre-backs around. He is a baby-faced assassin. Only 25, and he looks younger, but he has already played two World Cups and he is as hard as nails and he can play as well,” Vickery told Sky Sports.
“He has perhaps never operated in a team that is as attack-minded as Man City. Both with Atletico Madrid and Uruguay he is with more reactive teams so this would be a challenge for him but there aren’t many better young centre-backs around in the world.
“I think it would be a costly piece of business for Man City, but a very good one.”
After finishing third in La Liga last season, Atletico – who have agreed a deal to sign Barcelona star Luis Suarez – begin their new campaign at home to Granada on Sunday.
While the season is set to begin behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cerezo is hopeful fans will be back sooner rather than later.
“We are hopeful that the public will be able to return to the stadiums before the end of the season,” he said.
“It is a difficult issue to control, but I think with the controls we have and with the good behaviour of the world of football, we will be able to continue this campaign well.”