In news that is sure to excite Chelsea FC fans, reports in Spain suggested on Monday that Diego Simeone has decided to leave current employers Atlético Madrid this summer and make the move to Stamford Bridge.
Given the way the 2015-2016 season has panned out for Chelsea, Roman Abramovich and the club board have a massive job rebuilding the team on their hands this summer, starting with bringing in a top-class manager. Massimiliano Allegri and Antonio Conte have been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but the Italian duo have reportedly been back-up options to Atlético Madrid manager Diego El Cholo Simeone.
In sensational reports emerging from Spain, the Argentine has reportedly told his current employers that he wants to leave the club in the summer. Simeone signed a new five-year deal in 2015, meaning the Blues may well have to pay the compensation to obtain his services. However, if the 45-year-old indeed wants to follow in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola and make the move to the English Premier League, that fee is unlikely to be a major financial burden for Chelsea.
According to Spanish media outlet OK Diario, Simeone has informed Atlético Madrid of his decision to leave the club in the summer. Abramovich has reportedly offered the former Argentina midfielder €12 million a season to take charge of the Blues, which would be twice his current salary at the Madrid club.
The report claims that Simeone’s incredible success with Atléti will ensure that he will always be loved by the fans and welcomed at the club. The prime motivation for the La Liga winner is apparently his desire for a new challenge. Eduardo Inda, a Spanish journalist and the director of OK Diario, initially dropped this bombshell in an exclusive for El Chiringuito de Jugones, a football program on Spanish TV.
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) February 16, 2016
Simeone record with Atlético Madrid remarkable, but Chelsea FC will be a different challenge altogether
Diego Simeone has emerged as one of the finest mangers in Europe over the past few seasons, winning La Liga in 2013-14 against all odds and reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League in the same season. The Argentine has also won the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey during his time at the Vicente Calderón, taking his trophy-count to an impressive five since 2011-12.
By comparison, Massimiliano Allegri has three titles to his name from his period as manager of AC Milan and later Juventus, while Antonio Conte has five with the Turin giants. However, unlike the two Italians, Simeone is yet to be at a club in Europe where the expectation to win titles can be burdensome, and transitioning from being the underdog to the team expected to do well will be a challenge for the Argentine.
Meanwhile, his style of football is also not something Abramovich may necessarily want to see, and as such, even if Simeone makes himself available this summer, Chelsea will have to do some serious thinking before making the decision to appoint him.