Diego Simeone has reportedly told Atletico Madrid chiefs he will leave at the end of the season.
The fiery Argentine coach has spent 11 years in charge of the Spanish club and has brought them unparalleled success in both LaLiga and in Europe.
During his tenure, Atletico have been crowned Spanish league champions twice, won two Europa League titles and have reached two Champions League finals – though they were defeated by arch-rivals Real Madrid on both occasions in 2014 and 2016.
But this season has proved a disaster so far and the Rojiblancos find themselves fifth – battling for a spot in the top four.
They also finished bottom of their Champions League group in a humiliating campaign, winning just once against Porto, Club Brugge and Bayer Leverkusen.
Spanish reporter Paco Garcia Caridad told El Chiringuito: “Simeone will not continue at Atleti in the coming season.
“He has told [President] Gil Marin that he will leave in January.”
While news that Simeone could leave Atletico Madrid will come as a shock to many, within the club there could be a huge sigh of relief.
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The 52-year-old has managed to work wonders with a tight budget over the years and his defensive tactics, though divisive, have claimed some of the biggest scalps on the continent.
But big-money transfers such as Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar have thrown the underdog tag out the window and Simeone has struggled to find a more forward-thinking brand of football to accommodate his stars.
Indeed, reports in Spain have emerged throughout the season that Simeone and Felix have not seen eye to eye this year and is one of the main reasons why Chelsea are on the brink of a loan deal this month.
Atletico won LaLiga under Simeone in 2021 and 2014 but look miles off the pace this season, most recently suffering a 1-0 loss to Barcelona on Sunday.
There have been other damaging defeats across the campaign to the likes of Mallorca, Cadiz and Villarreal.
Simeone is the longest-serving manager in LaLiga having joined Atletico in 2011 and played for the club across two spells back in 1994 to 1997 and then in 2003 to 2005.
But it now appears his long association with the capital club could soon be coming to an end.
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