Before Atletico Madrid’s last Champions League group stage fixture against Bayern Munich, Diego Simeone made some interesting comments saying that he will one day coach Inter Milan. A fire that was started a week earlier by his son Giovanni Simeone (striker for Genoa) saying that his dad will indeed one day be the manager for the Nerazzurri side.
This isn’t the first time Simeone has speculated on leaving Atletico Madrid. After losing the Champions League Final in May, he scared the Atletico fan base by saying that he needed to think about whether to continue as manager or not. Despite continuing this season, more speculations arose when Simeone shortened his contract from 2020 to 2018.
All this, along with Monday’s 3-0 defeat to Villarreal leaving Atletico 12 points behind the La Liga leaders Real Madrid, have left people wondering if Simeone has his head already out the door.
This is all speculation and we won’t really know until the end of the season, but will Diego Simeone really leave Atletico Madrid this summer? More than likely, yes.
1. He’s pretty much squeezed everything he possibly could from this squad.
2. Atletico has a limited squad and top signings don’t seem to be coming soon.
Diego Simeone has had to work with a limited squad in his fives seasons with Atletico Madrid. Less than a handful of the players he’s coached would be regular starters at mega clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich. Even so, almost every top player he’s had has left the club every time a big transfer offer comes knocking.
2013: Radamel Falcao – AS Monaco
2014: Diego Costa – Chelsea
2015: Arda Turan – Barcelona
2015: Miranda – Inter Milan
2015: Mario Mandzukic – Juventus
Despite these setbacks, he’s achieved so much with the resources he’s been given and is without a doubt the best manager in Atletico’s history:
2011/2012: Europa League
2012/2013: European Super Cup and Copa del Rey
2013/2014: La Liga and Champions League runners up
2014/2015: Spanish Super Cup
2015/2016: Champions League runners up
However, after two Champions League finals losses in three years to their arch rivals Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid look broken this season (at least in La Liga). Atletico doesn’t seem to have that same team spirit from years before and Simeone even had a small riff with his captain, Gabi, before and during the city derby against Real Madrid.
In spite of the titles, the Champions League final defeat seems to have affected the team and it’s very hard for Simeone to keep motivating the same group of players to climb the icy mountain again after slipping at the edge of the mountaintop twice. Atletico Madrid look to have their eyes set on the Champions League and Diego Simeone will make one last attempt to squeeze every last ounce of effort from this team.
Regardless, Simeone will probably leave Atletico Madrid after the season. The only way “el Cholo” would consider staying is if new signings arrive. He won’t continue if the core group stays the same because, as previously mentioned, he’s almost extracted everything he could from them and the squad is very limited compared to other teams, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and even PSG.
Not to mention that Atletico’s top players will continue to leave once more attractive offers come around. Unfortunately, those important signings don’t look like they will happen because of the transfer ban Atletico are facing for the next two windows.
But Where Will He Go? Inter Milan?
Simeone did say he will one day coach Inter Milan and it’s natural that he would want to manage one of his former clubs where he well loved and respected. However, I wouldn’t set that in stone just yet. Currently, Inter Milan are in worse shape than Atletico Madrid were before Simeone arrived, and that’s saying something taking into consideration that Atletico Madrid were once nicknamed “El Pupas”.
A word that doesn’t really have a translation in English, but means somebody with constant bad luck.
Inter Milan haven’t been in the Champions League since the 2011/2012 season or even won a title in the last six years, they finished last in their Europa League group this season (included Southampton, Hapoel Be’e, and Sparta Prague), and Mauro Icardi is their captain.
You read that correctly. Mauro Icardi, who’s had repeated issues with the Nerazzurri fan base and married his former teammate and best friend Maxi Lopez's former wife, is the captain of Inter Milan. That just sums up Inter Milan’s current situation.
We’ll also need to see what coaching changes occur in the summer. Unai Emery has been questioned at PSG, rumors have circulated about Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, and Tottenham’s disappointing Champions League exit has put Mauricio Pochettino under pressure. It looks written in the stars that Diego Simeone will end up going to Inter Milan if he does in fact leave, but don’t be surprise if he decides to take a coaching job somewhere else, or even stays at Atletico Madrid.