Atletico Madrid boss Simeone advises Messi and Setien to resolve Barcelona ‘rift’ internally over cup of coffee – The Sun

DIEGO SIMEONE has remarked that Lionel Messi and Quique Setien could talk through their reported rift over a cup of coffee.

The Atletico Madrid boss will be keen to take advantage of any disagreements at Barcelona when the sides face off on Tuesday night.

But Simeone is confident that the apparent feud is solvable internally amid talk of a major falling out at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's title charge has hit a few major snags under Setien, 61, following a pre-lockdown defeat to Real Madrid and recent draws with Sevilla and Celta Vigo.

After a late goal at Estadio Balaidos meant another two points dropped for the ex-Real Betis boss, he was reportedly hammered by his players for his choice of substitutions.

Footage of Messi appearing to shun advice from assistant coach Eder Sarabia also went viral.

However, Simeone feels the situation at Barcelona may not be so bad and believes he would want any similar saga at Atletico to be taken care of behind closed doors.

He told reporters: "You know me, I don't give my opinion on what's going on in other dressing rooms.

"I just make an opinion on ours. We need to keep it protected, always take care of it and always manage the feeling of the players, which is the most important for a squad.

"The most important thing is to manage, in my team, the emotional part, which I consider to be the key part."

He added: "I would try to solve it naturally in our camp, in the dressing room or the training session.

"A cup of coffee and an informal chat could help solve any internal issue."

Real's perfect return to LaLiga action has left Setien's Barcelona two points off the lead, which they held when Ernesto Valverde was controversially replaced as coach in January.

The form of Messi has been a subject of much worry around the Catalan side and the Argentine, 33, is still awaiting his 700th career goal.

Now three games without a strike, he is performing worse with Setien than under his five previous Barcelona bosses, statistically speaking.

A goals-per-game ratio of 0.63 is substantially below the 0.96 he managed under Pep Guardiola and the 1.18 during his immaculate spell while Tito Vilanova was in charge.

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