Atletico Madrid sports director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has taken responsibility for not signing Villarreal midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme.

The Argentina international star appeared on his way to Atletico, but the move never materialised, much to the disappointment of fans.

Pitarch explained: "We had the possibility to take Riquelme on loan for very favorable financial conditions, but after speaking with (coach Javier) Aguirre, we decided his arrival would have changed our playing system.

"It was too risky to change everything at the last minute, even if Riquelme is a great player. I assume the responsibilities for this decision."