Gimenez not pondering on Atletico exit as he eyes Salah clash at World Cup
Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez says he is solely focused on the World Cup with Uruguay and a showdown against Egypt star Mohamed Salah in Russia amid question marks over his future.
Gimenez has been linked with a move to neighbours and LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, who are reportedly ready to meet the 23-year-old’s €60million release clause.
However, Gimenez – a key member of Atletico’s triumphant Europa League campaign – insists the World Cup is the only thing on his mind following Uruguay’s 3-0 win over 10-man Uzbekistan on Thursday.
“I don’t think on that,” Gimenez told reporters when asked if he thought about leaving Atletico. “I’m thinking on playing a good tournament and to prepare myself well for it, and that’s all.
“I feel good. I had played a lot of minutes specially at the end of the season and that’s always a plus for me, it gives me confidence. Physically I feel good, mentally I feel even better.”
Gimenez was on target in Montevideo as Uruguay played their final warm-up match before the World Cup.
Luis Suarez doubled the lead from the penalty spot nine minutes into the second half after Giorgian De Arrascaeta opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark.
Gimenez sealed the victory with a header 17 minutes from the end as Uruguay turned their attention to the country’s Group A opener against Egypt on June 15.
All eyes are on Salah and whether he will be fit in time for the clash following a shoulder injury sustained in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Madrid in the Champions League final last month.
Gimenez said: “I hope he goes there, because he wants to play this World Cup. Personally I like to play against the best players of the world and Salah is one of the best, so I hope he goes.”
“This is like every other cup we had played before. Of course we are going for the victory, but fear is a factor which plays a role there too,” he added.