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Callejon says he will never move to Atletico Madrid

Despite rumors of heavy and high-priced interest from the defending Spanish champions, Jose Callejon says that he has no interest in playing for Atletico Madrid.

Paolo Bruno

Things have been a little nervous for Napoli fans lately. The club's top goalscorer this season is Jose Callejon, who is joint-top in Serie A as well with Carlos Tevez, and that hasn't just earned him a callup to the Spanish national team, it's earned him a fair bit of transfer interest as well.

Over the summer, there were reports of Atletico Madrid making at least one offer for Callejon, and of Napoli refusing their advances. That interest is believed to have maintained and even strengthened in the ensuing months, with talk of a bid north of €20 million being mooted. There's even been some whispers of interest from Barcelona, though those links have seemed much more tenuous than those to Atleti.

For a club such as Napoli that doesn't have the same financial resources as the other giants of Europe, an offer that large for a player they spent much less on would be tempting, especially as at Callejon's age, his value will likely never be higher than it is right now. That's lead to some nervous moments for Napoli fans, as they're unsure if the club will hang on to the Spanish winger who's opened so many eyes since his arrival before last season.

Callejon, though, is having none of it. "Links with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid? I'd never accept their offers because I'm a Madridista," he told the Spanish media, emphasizing his ties to Real Madrid. He came up through the Castilla academy system at Real and is fiercely loyal to his home club, which always made the prospect of him moving to Atleti a tricky one given the city rivalry between the two clubs.

Hopefully this isn't just bluster and Callejon is serious about wanting to be part of Napoli "for a long time," as he said later in the interview. He's proved to be a magnificent purchase for Napoli, and losing him would be a big blow to the side's quality. Callejon can help truly vault Napoli in to a new competitive level within Italy and Europe, and that's far more valuable than a few million extra euros in the bank.