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Newcastle United target Marcos Rocha to stay with Atlético Mineiro until after the Copa Libertadores

Atlético Mineiro full-back Marcos Rocha, who was linked with Newcastle United on Wednesday, has revealed that, after a talk with president Alexandre Kalil, he will not leave the club before the end of the Copa Libertadores.

Rocha, 23, who was voted the Brasileirão’s best full-back this season, was both surprised and delighted to hear of the Geordies interest.

“I heard through my publicist and then my manager called me,” the right-back told Globo Esporte.

“An interest from English football, which everyone knows is one of the best, very difficult, it is not for anyone, and I just have to thank them.”

Rocha is not the only Atlético-MG player to be linked with a move away after European champions Chelsea expressed an interest in Bernard. But Rocha revealed that Kalil wants to keep the squad together for a real go at the Libertadores.

“He reassured everyone and told me that they will not sell me or Bernard until the end of our participation in the Libertadores. 

“He said that if I have to leave, then just after the Libertadores.”

“This gives us tranquility and confidence to enter the year with our heads in the Libertadores. A tournament that has a lot of visibility and the whole world will watch. Undoubtedly, it was a wise decision by the president, because the maintenance of the team is a weapon that we have.”


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