Diego Simeone believes his time at Atletico Madrid may have come to an end and that he’s taken the club as far as he can.
This is according to Spanish newspaper AS, who understand the Argentine coach is seriously considering quitting the Champions League finalists.
Simeone reportedly fears that the energy required to once again compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga - not to mention Europe’s giants in the Champions League - after such a disappointing end to the season might be too big an ask.
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However, Simeone won’t take the decision to walk away from the Vicente Calderon lightly and it seems he is prepared to stay put provided the club’s board meet his demands.
The 46-year-old’s number one condition is that Atletico provide the funds to make world-class signings this summer - in order to avoid losing ground on Barca and their local rivals.
Gaitan and Costa to join Atletico?
Atleti’s net spend over the past few years is relatively low compared to that of their La Liga rivals’ and they already have a squad full of talented individuals, but Simeone is acutely aware that new first-class additions are required.
Nicolas Gaitan is expected to join the Colchoneros, while Simeone wants Diego Costa back at the Calderon, according to Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
The Chelsea striker, who missed out on a place in Spain’s Euro 2016 squad, has been continuously linked with a return to Atletico over the past two seasons.
"I think the kind of problems that there are is number one, players," Balague told Sky Sports. "If he is going to win titles, the Champions League, he is not going to do it with Fernando Torres up front.
"He needs a bigger striker and a bigger scorer throughout the season because you saw that in the league, 18 goals conceded, all that Atletico Madrid had was the best defence in Europe.
"But they didn't score enough goals, which made them short to win the league.
"So it's a little bit of a scary moment for Atletico Madrid. The club is certain that he is staying but Simeone will say: 'I will with conditions.’”
Simeone was deflated after Champions League final
Atletico fans saw their talismanic manager deflated after last weekend’s Champions League final.
The South American coach watched on from the sidelines as his men were beaten in the final by Real Madrid for the second time in three seasons - this time after a penalty shoot-out.
"What really hurts me is to see the hurt of the people who've paid to come here -- I feel a bit responsible that I wasn't able to give them what they wanted, That's what really hurts,” Simeone told reporters. “I feel responsible for the fans who have bought their tickets.
“The end of a cycle? I have to think about that.”
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