Friday 19 January 2018

Man City target Diego Simeone 'likely to sign contract extension with Atletico Madrid'

Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone
Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone

Atletico Madrid fans are in a state of jubilation after their team's Champions League triumph over Bayer Leverkusen on penalties, and there are sure to be even more celebrations if coach Diego Simeone signs a contract extension.

That is likely to happen, according to Simeone's sister and agent.

Following Tuesday night's second leg of the last-16 tie at the Vicente Calderon stadium, Natalia Simeone told Spanish TV channel TVE: "The truth is we are going to have good news in the coming days.

"If the Atletico fans are happy today, they will be even happier in the next few days."

Simeone, a former Atletico and Argentina player, took the helm of the Rojiblancos in 2011 and has transformed them into a formidable team.

The 44-year-old has steered Atletico to the Primera Division, Europa League and Copa del Rey trophies and last season led them into the Champions League final, where they fell to city rivals Real Madrid.

Simeone, under contract until June 2017, has been a reported target of top European clubs.

He insists the deal is not done just yet.

"It's not closed," Simeone told the Spanish press. "We will have to wait a few more days in order to give further information."

Simeone was ecstatic that his side was able to overcome a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Bayer to progress in the competition.

"We are among the eight best teams in Europe again and it gives me goose bumps to say it," Simeone said to the Spanish press. "Our supporters don't realise how much strength they give to our players.

"The fans delight me.

"It was a tough game and I'm very proud of my players who never stop wanting more.

"This group works so hard and while at times we might not play great, they give their souls on the pitch.

"This gives us a huge inner strength in order to continue to compete, starting on Saturday."

Atletico have drawn their last three league games to fall to fourth in the Primera Division standings and host Getafe this weekend.

They beat Leverkusen 1-0 on Tuesday thanks to Mario Suarez's first-half goal to cancel out their first-leg defeat by the same scoreline. With no further score in extra time, the match went to extra time and the Spaniards progressed after Leverkusen missed three of their five penalties.

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