Premier League

Maniche to stay at Atletico

Spanish giants keen to keep midfielder

Maniche: Has future in Madrid

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Atletico Madrid have played down speculation that Maniche could leave the club, amid reported interest from Sunderland.

The Portuguese midfielder has suffered a disappointing season in La Liga, with a fall-out with former coach Javier Aguirre and some of his team-mates undermining his efforts at Vicente Calderon.

Black Cats boss Ricky Sbragia has been linked with making an approach for the former Chelsea schemer but it would appear he is still wanted in the Spanish capital.

"Atletico want to have the best players and Maniche is one of them," said club president Enrique Cerezo.

"What happened with Maniche happens within every team.

"Problems occur in every dressing room but at the end of the day they are forgotten.

"He is still under contract for a year-and-a-half and we count on him."