Diego Simeone: 'Transfer ban has improved Atletico Madrid'

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says that his side have "turned a negative situation into a positive one" by improving in spite of their transfer ban.

Diego Simeone has claimed that being handed a FIFA-imposed transfer ban has proved to be a blessing in disguise for his Atletico Madrid side.

The world football governing body has blocked the Rojiblancos from bringing in new players throughout 2017 after upholding a ban put in place for breaching the rules over the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18.

Atletico continued their impressive start to the campaign by overcoming Sevilla 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday afternoon, however, lifting them up to second place in the table after six games.

Simeone believes that his squad has improved in quality as a result of the ban, as he has been given a chance to get the best out of those currently at the club.

"We have turned a negative situation into a positive one," he told reporters. "Not being able to sign has made us focus on making the players that we have even stronger: Thomas [Partey], Luciano [Vietto], Lucas [Hernandez], [Angel] Correa. That has given us the chance to compete well. There is more competition for places now."

Atletico are close to agreeing a deal for Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who will join Atletico in January along with former Sevilla winger Vitolo.

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Chelsea's Diego Costa in action during the FA Cup final against Arsenal on May 27, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona24195062115162
2Atletico MadridAtletico2416713692755
3Valencia24144647281946
4Real Madrid23136455262945
5Sevilla2412393135-439
6Villarreal2411583529638
7EibarEibar2410593236-435
8GironaGirona249783430434
9Real Betis24103114150-933
10Celta Vigo239594134732
11Getafe237972621530
12Real Sociedad2485114645129
13Leganes2385102025-529
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
15AlavesAlaves2491142233-1128
16Espanyol246992232-1027
17Levante24311102138-1720
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2453161852-3418
19Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2445152453-2917
20Malaga2434171538-2313
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