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Lazio midfielder Diego Simeone has repeated his desire to sign for former club Atletico Madrid after the Spanish side clinched promotion to the top flight at the weekend. "I am delighted they are back in the first division and I would like very much to go back to Atletico some day," he said.

Atletico sealed promotion on Sunday evening. The capital club could only draw 3-3 with Nastic Tarragona on Saturday, but nevertheless were up 24 hours later when Recreativo Huelva failed to beat Leganes and Oviedo drew with Murcia.

Argentina star Simeone, who made his comeback last month after injuring knee ligaments during Lazio's Champions' League clash with PSV Eindhoven last September, added: "I am very happy, it's a huge bonus. The team is back in La Liga thanks to the good work done by the players and the supporters.

"This will also be useful for the president to gain strength for resolving the problems he has at the moment."

Atletico chief Jesus Gil confirmed he would stand down as president in the interests of the club on Monday. He is under police investigation after being accused of embezzling up to £20 million of public funds between 1991 and 1995, as well as falsifying documents.

Simeone went on to urge coach Luis Aragones to raid Serie A for Spanish players to boost the squad for next season. "I think that Javi Moreno and Gaizka Mendieta could be very well at Atletico."

In March 2001, Simeone first revealed his intention to return to Atletico. He said: "It's definitely on my mind to return to Atletico. I nearly returned to Atletico at the beginning of the season but the move didn't go ahead because of a legal complication.

"Atletico are the club where I have felt most comfortable during my career and where I first came to prominence," he added. "I have felt more appreciated there than anywhere else and I left a lot of friends in Madrid.

"I want to finish my career at Atletico because it makes me proud that the fans remember me and that they still sing my name at the Vincente Calderon."

The Argentina star joined the Madrid club in 1994 from Pisa and spent three years in the Spanish capital before returning to Italy to play for Internazionale in 1997.

He has one year left on his contract at Lazio.
 
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