During a recent interview with Radio America 1190, manager Diego Simeone was asked about the speculation concerning his future with Atletico Madrid.
The Argentine boss is perhaps the hottest managerial property in world soccer and speculation has been that the 44-year-old could potentially move to another European club at the end of his current contract with the reigning Spanish champions.
When asked about the rumors about a potential move away from the Vicente Calderon, Simeone told Radio America 1190 that he would be happy to remain at the club where he has spearheaded a renaissance over the past three years, provide Atletico Madrid continue to grow both on and off the pitch.
“If things keep growing as they are growing I will not move from Atleti,” Simeone said. “I see that Atleti want to continue growing and that also allows me to get better.”
The latest news out of Spain is that Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda property group, has agreed to buy a 20% stake in the La Liga club. The transaction is reportedly worth between 40-45 million euros and an announcement of the deal is expected on Wednesday.
The Dalian Wanda Group made headlines last year when it bought the landmark Edificio Espana tower in downtown Madrid, and Mr. Wang himself was previously the owner of one of China’s most successful teams – then called Dalian Wanda FC – from 1994 until 2000.
When asked about the potential deal between Atletico Madrid and the Dalian Wanda Group, Simeone would not go into specifics but did reveal that the investment would be to the club’s advantage.
“I have no official notification yet,” the manager said. “I’m sure that the main interests are to generate a bigger and better Atleti.”
In the three years with Simeone at the helm, Atletico Madrid have won a Europa League title, the UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Supercopa, Copa del Rey and a La Liga title – while also finishing as Champions League runners-up last season.
Los Colchoneros currently trail league-leading Real Madrid by four points with half of the season remaining, have advanced the quarterfinal of the Copa del Rey and progressed as group winners into the Champions League Round of 16 – where they will face Bayer Leverkusen next month.
The club is also in the process of building a new 70,000-seat stadium, selling merchandise at a record pace and has continued to attract some of Europe’s better talent to the red-and-white half of Madrid.
Programming note: The first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will be shown LIVE on Wednesday starting at 3:55pm EST on beINSPORTS and DishWorld.
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