Diego Simeone has put an end to speculation linking him with a move to Italy or Chelsea by renewing his contract as Atletico Madrid coach until 2022.
Simeone has also demanded the club do not allow the break up of his squad. Diego Godin is still on course to leave for Serie A in the summer but Jan Oblak is close to following his manager and committing to the club with an improved contract.
When Oblak signs, he will follow the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Koke and Saul Niguez who have all signed new deals in recent months.
The Argentine has been Atletico manager for almost eight years, which makes him the longest serving coach in La Liga. He has won eight trophies including the 2013-14 La Liga title, 2013 Copa del Rey and the Europa League in 2012 and 2018. If he sees out his new deal he will have been 11 years at the club.
In an official statement Simeone thanked President Enrique Cerezo, Sporting Director Andrea Berta, and major shareholder Angel Gil Marin. He said:
‘I thank all the people at Atletico Madrid for their support for the continuity of this project and all the challenges that we face in the future.’
Simeone’s sister and representative Natalia Simeone was in Madrid in January to formalise the extension of his current deal that was due to run out in 2020. Speculation then suggested he was demanding pay parity with Griezmann although club sources denied this claiming his new deal would come in closer to 18m euros a season still putting him a long way clear of all other coaches in La Liga.
Simeone has been indicating all season that he intended to stay at the club:
‘I have spoken to Miguel Angel and it’s true that at one point through the season we can talk about extending. I feel content here with more energy than when I first arrived,’ he said adding: ‘I am stubborn too and I have certain things in my head that I still want to do [at this club].’
A key part of the negotiations was his insistence that certain players remain at the club. Goalkeeper Oblak chief among them. Seven trophies have been won since Simeone took over in 2011.
Natalia Simeone has indicated at the past that ‘sooner or later’ Diego Simeone will end up in Italy coaching Inter but the Italian job will have to wait and any chance he could be Chelsea’s new coach seem to have evaporated.
Simeone has been named La Liga’s coach of the year three times, but he has never won the Champions League and has finished as a runner-up twice — losing to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016