Diego Simeone has confirmed that Atletico Madrid have begun negotiations to retain their manager past his current contract with the La Liga side, which is set to expire in June 2017.
Although no agreement has been reached between the coach and club, both parties are “excited” about their future together and the consensus is a deal will be finalized in a relatively short amount of time.
“It’s clear that I’m very happy at the club and I love Atletico Madrid,” Simeone said following his side’s emphatic 3-0 win over Almeria yesterday. “We’re seeking to continue this project we kicked off three years ago and both parties are equally enthusiastic and eager about the idea.”
“Hopefully we will remain on the same page, as we always have been up to now, and we can continue working towards our goal of making Atletico bigger.”
Simeone is the most wanted managerial property in world football, with the Argentine being heavily-linked with moves to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in recent months.
It was rumored that Simeone was considering taking a year sabbatical (à la Pep Guardiola) in order to recharge his batteries and learn English before making a switch to the Premier League.
But it was learned in January that the manager informed striker Fernando Torres (prior to his transfer from AC Milan) that he would remain at the club through next season.
Also, Simeone told Radio America 1190 that he would be happy to remain at the club provided Atletico continues to grow both on and off the pitch.
Shortly after that statement, the club announced it had reached an agreement with Chinese businessman Wang Jialin which allowed his company (Dalian Wanda Group) to purchase a 20% stake in Atletico Madrid. The deal would provide the Spanish club with the ideal platform to expand its brand globally through the Chinese company’s commercial properties across Europe, Asia and the United States.
Atletico Madrid are currently four points adrift from the top spot in La Liga and have advanced to the Champions League Round of 16, where they will face Bayer Leverkusen later this week.
The reigning champions of Spain have once again adjusted well to the departure of key personnel over the summer, with their new arrivals Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Fernando Torres leading the charge both domestically and in Europe.
With the club’s future looking bright, it’s likely that Simeone won’t be leaving the Spanish capital for the perceived greener pastures of another European club.
In just over three years with Simeone at the helm, Atletico have won a Europa League title, the UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, Copa del Rey and a La Liga title – while also finishing as Champions League runners-up last season.
Atletico Madrid would like Simeone to remain at the club and build a footballing dynasty similar to the one achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, and it appears the manager is thinking along the same lines.
Programming note: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid will be shown LIVE on Wednesday at 2:45pm EST on FOX Sports 2 and FoxSoccer2Go.
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