In Focus: Where Simeone could head next amid doubts over Atleti future
Diego Simeone’s future at Atletico Madrid has been plunged into doubt after 11 years in the Spanish capital.
Local media indicate the Argentine coach could finally depart this summer after a disappointing season at the Metropolitano, with Atleti currently 14 points off the pace in the LaLiga title race and out of the Champions League.
But as one of the club's most successful modern managers who has consistently had his side punching above their weight on the domestic and European stage, the 52-year-old is sure to be in demand.
With a move to the Premier League hotly tipped, we look at where Simeone could head next.
Such is the relentless cycle of managers Chelsea went through under Roman Abramovich, the West London club are regularly linked with the top candidates when they become available.
New owner Todd Boehly appointed Graham Potter with long-term success in mind but with the former Brighton boss under intense pressure, there is every chance a vacancy at Stamford Bridge opens up this summer.
The Blues have lost seven of their last 10 games in all competitions, casting doubt over whether Potter is the man to deliver the American owner’s vision.
His lack of experience at the top level has been a particular criticism of Potter, something two-time LaLiga winner and double Champions League finalist Simeone has in abundance.
It would not be, of course, the first time Simeone has been linked with the Premier League giants, having been tipped to succeed Jose Mourinho back in 2015.
London rivals Tottenham could also be on the lookout for a new boss, with Antonio Conte refusing to commit his future past this summer.
The Italian led Spurs back into the Champions League in his first season but appears to be growing frustrated at their lack of transfer activity and inability to challenge for the title this term.
Given the ex-Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan boss rarely sticks around in roles for more than two years, speculation over who his successor could be has already started.
Though former favourite Mauricio Pochettino is the name regularly mentioned, chairman Daniel Levy would be hard-pressed to find a better alternative than Simeone.
Spurs’ policy of appointing the likes of Mourinho and Conte to achieve instant success has not quite worked, so convincing Simeone to set up his next long-term project in North London could be the way forward.
Jurgen Klopp is mentioned alongside Anfield greats Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley for the job he has done in more than seven years as Liverpool boss but good things do not last forever.
Only last April, the German boss signed a new contract to remain on Merseyside until 2026 but a lot has changed since then.
The Reds are struggling this season as they sit seven points adrift of a Champions League place, while owners Fenway Sports Group putting the club up for sale has added to the uncertainty.
A passionate and fiery character like Simeone to continue inspiring the Anfield crowd seems a good option should Klopp decide his time on Merseyside is up at the end of the season.
Newcastle are flying high in the Premier League right now, with Eddie Howe doing a sensational job since becoming the first manager of the Saudi-owned era at St James’ Park.
It seems inconceivable that they would look beyond a manager that has taken them from relegation favourites to Champions League contenders within 12 months but time can move quickly in football.
With domestic and European titles well and truly the aim on Tyneside, they may wish to make an upgrade in the near future and Simeone could be the perfect man to build on Howe's good work.
Kieran Trippier, who joined the Magpies from Simeone’s Atletico last January, recently insisted his former boss is destined to manage in the English top flight.
The 32-year-old said: "I'd love to see him [Simeone] in the Premier League because I think he would be unbelievable.
"Simeone was incredible with me. He knew how I played. He changed my game defensively. He changed my game and the work I did individually, and I learned so much from him.
"His man-management was incredible. Can he manage in England one day? I would love to see it."
There are sure to be plenty of enticing offers away from the Premier League and a return to Italy, where Simeone spent a large chunk of his club career, could be on the cards.
After leaving Argentina as a youngster, the tough-tackling midfielder spent two years at Pisa before making 221 appearances across spells at Inter Milan and Lazio between 1997 and 2003.
Taking up the helm at the San Siro seems the most likely option, with current boss Simone Inzaghi under pressure as the Nerazzurri sit 10 points behind leaders Napoli in Serie A.
Simeone was previously linked with the job back in 2018 and refused to rule out the possibility of taking over in the future.
With Italy’s top flight famed for mastering the art of defending, the pragmatic coach may well feel a return to a club he won the UEFA Cup with in 1998 is a dream choice.