The Portuguese star has struggled for minutes under Simeone this season.
Diego Simeone has insisted he won’t return Joao Felix to his lineup unless he delivers more goals.
Felix showed signs of regaining his best form last season before an untimely injury ended his campaign. The Portuguese star is fit again this season, but he struggles to find enough game time in competition with other Atletico forwards.
Reports about Felix’s desire to leave Atletico have already emerged in Spanish media. A few outlets have gone as far as to claim the Portuguese star could leave Wanda Metropolitano as soon as this winter.
Simeone has now insisted Felix’s reduced game time is a direct product of his “worsened” form.
“I am going to be very clear in the same way in which I explained it to Joao,” Simeone said. “I want to win with Correa, with Joao, with Griezmann, with Cunha, with Morata.
“The only reality is that which is. In the year that we won La Liga, he had an incredible year until the injury and he ended up playing.
“In the second season, in the ‘league of the 14’, he wasn’t playing. But he began to play against Osasuna, he did very well, he responded with goals, he gave everything for the team, which he has, and he played until he suffered an injury.
“In the following season he had a good preseason, beyond his injury, with good games against Juventus and based on his good performances, he played.”
“And now, when his performance has gotten worse, other teammates play. Because I believe Joao is equal to Correa and everyone else. As soon as he returns to performing well in training, he works, he recovers his goalscoring, which we will need, he will play.
“But while I am here, it goes by performances. That is why other teammates are playing. It remains clear that every time he was good, he played.”