Chelsea appear to be closing in on a deal for Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone as they continue their search for a new long-term manager.
Stamford Bridge officials waited as long as they could before sacking Jose Mourinho with Roman Abramovich knowing full well that a new world-class coach would be hard to come by.
However, according to Spanish broadsheet El Confidencial, Abramovich met with his most trusted confidants before pulling the trigger on Mourinho's second reign to discuss potential candidates to replace him.
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By then, it was already agreed that Guus Hiddink would take over on an interim basis until the end of the season, but once the campaign draws to a close, they will once again need a new manager to build that elusive dynasty that Abramovich wants. By the time that meeting ended, they all agreed Simeone was their best bet.
And it appears the Argentinian, who has won one La Liga title with Atletico, is keen to further his career with a move to the Premier League. According to the same report, he has already started taking English lessons in private. He currently doesn't speak a word of it and wants to be able to deliver team talks to the Chelsea players before next season gets underway.
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Costa del Transfers
The arrival of Simeone in west London would almost certainly help to keep striker Diego Costa at the club. He is reportedly angling for a return to Atletico, but the presence of Simeone will almost certainly convince him to remain for at least one more season.
Simeone will also likely to looking to bring some of his biggest stars at the Vicente Calderon with him. Antoine Griezmann has long been linked with a move to Chelsea and could be top of his wish list. Midfielder Koke and defender Jose Gimenez are also on the agenda.
Age of the manager
While Premier League clubs may struggle to get the very best of the world's footballing talent to the country, they are succeeding in getting the best talent in the dugout. Pep Guardiola will take over Manchester City for next season while it is widely reported that Jose Mourinho will be in charge of Manchester United. Along with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, the Premier League will boast an all-star array of managers next season.
It must be noted, however, that Atletico Madrid are still confident that Simeone will stay at the club until the end of his current contract, believed to run until 2020. Atletico president Enrique Cerezo recently warned Chelsea off their interest of the 45-year-old.
He said: "We have a coach who has a winning culture. Simeone has offered us come incredible. The mood of everyone is that Diego continues with us. He has a long-term contract and for us he is very important."