Former Atlético midfielder Diego Simeone has reportedly quit his job as manager of Argentine Primera División outfit Racing Club, leading to rampant speculation he is on the verge of replacing Gregorio Manzano at Atleti.
According to Argentine sports paper Olé, it was el ‘Cholo’s sister – who oversees his contracts – that broke the news to Racing president Rodolfo Molina via telephone Monday evening.
A member of los Rojiblancos’ legendary Doblete-winning team of 1995/96, Simeone reportedly blames a “lack of support” from club directors, specifically, from Mr. Molina, who publicly criticised him during La Academia’s recent presidential elections, as the reason for his departure.
The 41-year-old’s decision caused an uproar among Racing fans on social media sites in Argentina.
On Sunday, the club’s president had assured supporters Simeone was “guaranteed” to remain at the helm of the squad.
El Cholo’s latest stint as Racing boss was his second. He signed with the club just six months ago and led them to a second place finish in the 2011/12 Apertura (opening tournament) of Argentina’s premiere football division.
In addition to his issues with the front office, the former Argentina international had a widely publicised dust-up with controversial Colombian striker Teo Gutiérrez this season. The two have since reconciled their differences.
Simeone spent his last days as a player at Racing, retiring in February of 2006 and immediately taking over on the coaching bench before leaving in May of the same year for Estudiantes de la Plata, where he won his first league title as a manager.
He then succeeded Daniel Passarella at River Plate in 2007, winning the Clausura championship in 2008, but handed in his resignation in November of the same year amid the club’s last place standing with six games to go in the Apertura tournament.
Months later, in April of 2009, he joined San Lorenzo where he failed to impress and again was forced to resign, this time after a year in charge.
Back in January, Simeone agreed terms with Serie A club Catania, helping the side avoid relegation in their 2010/11 campaign. Racing came knocking at his door in June and handed him a one-year deal.
The Colchonero idol has repeatedly made it clear he dreams of one day returning to Madrid to manage Atlético.
How would you feel about a Simeone return to the Vicente Calderón?