Simeone ‘shortens Atletico deal and learns English’ amid Arsenal talk

Date published: Thursday 15th September 2016 11:57

Diego Simeone: Arsenal talk played down

Arsenal’s prospects of luring Diego Simeone to the club as a possible replacement for Arsene Wenger have been given a boost following sensational claims made in the Spanish media.

The Atletico Madrid coach has, according to to Spanish publication ASreduced the terms of his contract with the Spanish giants, while there are claims that he has upped his English lessons to smooth a possible transition into Premier League life.

They claim the Argentinian has sensationally agreed to shorten his deal with the capital club from 2020 to 2018. Simeone initially agreed an extension to his contract last summer but it is not known what has caused the change of heart.

The former Argentina midfielder is one of the most highly-rated coaches in Europe and has long been linked with the top jobs in England.

He was linked with the Manchester City job before Pep Guardiola took charge, while it is also thought he was considered by Chelsea before Roman Abramovich decided his style ‘wouldn’t suit’ the Blues. He was also mentioned as a contender for the Inter Milan and PSG jobs this summer.

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However, reports in Spain suggest Arsenal are Simeone’s most likely destination, with Wenger’s contract up at the club at the end of the season.

The Argentine could leave in 2018 without having to pay a release fee but any fee for next summer will be far lower with the latest agreement.

Simeone took over at Atletico in 2011 and won La Liga in 2014. He has taken them to two Champions League finals – including last season’s – but lost in both to arch rivals Real Madrid.

Simeone’s future is also likely to have a knock-on effect on the players with Antoine Griezmann in particular committing to staying under the knowledge that the manager would too.

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