After putting Almería to the sword, Diego Simeone bought joy to rojiblancos everywhere in his post-match press conference by confirming that he and the club are in talks to extend his contract at the Vicente Calderón.
The Argentine boss has been an unprecedented success since taking over in December 2011, and despite having over two years left on his current deal, looks set to put pen to paper on a new deal that could keep him at Atleti as far as 2022.
Rumours have been hot in the Madrid press this week after his sister Natalia, who also happens to be his representative, jetted in to start negotiations with the board. She has been in the Spanish capital for 10 days now.
Speaking after his team’s 3-0 win, Cholo told press: “Both I and the club value an extension with the same enthusiasm and willingness, and have the same goal of helping Atleti grow even more,”
“It’s clear that I’m very happy here, I love Atlético Madrid and am trying to continue the project we’ve been working so hard on for three years now.”
In typical fashion, both he and agent Natalia insisted that his only contract at the moment runs until 2017 and no further, but gave very positive indications towards his future in the capital.
Atleti now have Chinese investment in the form of Wang Jianlin and the Dalian Wanda group, and it seems that along with finishing construction of La Peineta, one of their biggest objectives for the project is to tie down Simeone.
Just how excited we can allow ourselves to get about rumours of new signings, debt repayments and expansion on a global scale remains to be seen, but as long as Cholo is at the helm and managing us on the pitch, we should be in safe hands.
Length of the potential extension has been widely speculated, with most sources saying either 2020 or 2022. Others claim that Simeone would get full control over transfer business, and that we could even see marquee incomings – rather than outgoings – in the summer.
Also speaking in the mixed zone after Saturday’s match was defender Miranda, who added fuel to the fire: “[The players] are all delighted with our manager, and we hope he’ll be staying for many more years.” Make of that what you will.
For now, focus is solely on Wednesday’s crucial trip to Bayer Leverkusen, but with some luck, in the next few weeks we’ll get some news that will provide a boost for everyone at the club ahead of the run-in.
Watch this space.