Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez "dreams" of playing in the Premier League amid reports linking him with both Liverpool and Manchester United. However, the Uruguay international also concedes he would stay at the Vicente Calderon forever if Los Colchoneros offer him a lifetime contract.
The 22-year-old defender was recruited from Danubio in the summer of 2013 after being identified as Diego Godin's long-term replacement. Real Madrid and Barcelona reportedly considered making a move after he impressed during his first years in La Liga.
Arsenal were also linked with him last summer but the player instead decided to continue progressing under Diego Simeone. However, his future at Atletico has come into question in recent months after falling down the pecking order following the arrival of Stefan Savic.
Gimenez, according to the Spanish publication, has a €45m (£39.5m, $51.2m) release clause in his contract and was then considering leaving after growing frustrated over his lack of playing time.
The Uruguayan has now added fueled that speculation after admitting that he would fancy a switch to English football.
"I dream of playing in the Premier League because the games are very even. I would like to go [to England] but if Atletico makes me a lifetime contract I will stay," Gimenez said to Direct TV as quoted by AS. "Atletico taught me a lot of things since the day I arrived to the club. I'm privileged to be here. I take with calmness the rumours about offers and I always speak about it with my agents."
AS claim that Gimenez is still weighing up an exit in order to increase his chances of playing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Spanish publication reiterates that both United and Liverpool have expressed interest in his services, with Inter Milan also keen on luring him to the Serie A.
They add that Atletico are unwilling to negotiate his departure as they would be unable to sign a replacement due to their Fifa transfer ban. Gimenez's comments are a boost for Liverpool and United amid suggestions that both Premier League clubs are still looking to sign a centre-back.
The Merseysiders are yet to bolster their defence having abandoned attempts to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. Meanwhile, United have signed Victor Lindelöf from Benfica but it has been revealed that Jose Mourinho also tried to re-sign Michael Keane before the former academy star opted to join Everton instead.