Forlan happy to play waiting game at Atletico

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MADRID (Reuters) -- Uruguay's World Cup hero Diego Forlan could be tempted away from Atletico Madrid if the right deal came up but his goalscoring exploits have yet to prompt a flood of offers, the striker said on Monday.

The 31-year-old Forlan has wandered from Uruguay to Argentina, to Manchester United in England and from there to Spain's Villarreal and Atletico, steadily building a reputation as one of the world's deadliest strikers.

He won a second European Golden Shoe award for netting 32 goals in the 2008-09 La Liga season, led Atletico to victory over Fulham in the Europa League final last May and was voted player of the World Cup in South Africa.

That exposure coupled with Atletico's failure to qualify for the Champions League prompted speculation that they would struggle to hang on to their leading striker.

"It's just the papers. Never, never until now, they never sent any of them," Forlan told Reuters in an interview at Atletico's training ground, when asked if the reports of offers were true.

"If they send an offer you can decide if you want to go, or if you want to stay. If there is a good offer and if I have the chance to go, I will go. Like I always say, I came here to Europe, I left my home and I left everyone, so I'm not attached to a team.

"You look at the best offer you have and if you have a chance that's good and it's good for the team as well...I don't see it as bad.

"The papers say things but at the moment I am here, I have a contract with the club and there's nothing else to say."


The apparent lack of interest in Forlan is good news for Atletico as they try to build on last season's successes with a top-four finish, but it is surprising given his impressive scoring record.

Although he struggled when he first moved from Argentina's Independiente to Manchester in January 2002, he took off when he joined Villarreal in 2004.

In his first season in Spain he scored 25 league goals to win the European Golden Shoe award along with Thierry Henry, and after moving to Atletico three years later as a replacement for Fernando Torres, he repeated the feat in 2009.

Two goals in the Europa League final against Fulham secured Atletico their first European title in 48 years and he scored five times to help Uruguay reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Although he is considered to have failed during his time in England when he had to wait eight months to score his first goal for United, and spent much of his time on the bench, Forlan did not rule out a return to the Premier League.

"Everybody says things, that maybe you don't want to go back," he added. "The time I had in England was great and I enjoyed it and if I had the chance to go back I would be really happy."