Spanish news outlet El Confidencial have revealed that Diego Simeone is set to leave Atletico Madrid in June 2018, two years before his contract with the Spanish giant ends.
El Cholo signed an extension to his deal in March 2015, keeping him at the club until June 2020, but El Confidencial’s report states that his exit is expected two years earlier.
Paris Saint-Germain had come knocking for the Argentinian in the summer, leaving the coach with a blank cheque as they attempted to lure Simeone to the French capital, but he resisted and Sevilla’s Unai Emery was chosen to succeed Laurent Blanc as an alternative.
Simeone led Los Rojiblancos to the Champions League final against Real Madrid, where his outfit narrowly lost out on penalties to their bitter city rivals, whilst also finishing third in La Liga, just three points from the eventual champions Barcelona.
The one-time defensive midfielder, who played for Atleti from 1994 to 1997, has had a host of offers since winning the Spanish top flight at the helm during the 2013/14 season, with Paris and Chelsea being repeatedly linked.
Simeone had to consider his future after the second Champions League final defeat to Real in three years, but has now seemingly decided that he will commit two more seasons to Atletico before asking to leave.
This is an interesting turn of events if El Confidential’s claim proves to be true, especially for Atletico star Antoine Griezmann.
The top scorer at Euro 2016, Griezmann signed a long-term deal midway through the tournament, but told French TV that his place in Madrid was circumstantial on Simeone staying with the club.
The only doubt would be if Simeone leaves for PSG or wherever.
I called him before extending my contract and he confirmed to me that he was staying. I can learn a lot from him.
Should Simeone leave as expected in 2018, Griezmann would also be demanding a move at the same time.
Reports emerged earlier this summer that Griezmann was the main transfer target for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and the Gunners could reignite their interest in the French international should he become available.
It is evident that Griezmann and Simeone’s futures are inextricably linked together, with neither departing the club without the other.
The question is, will the pair be going to Arsenal?
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.
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