Friday 20 April 2018

Diego Simeone would demand transfer control at Stamford Bridge

Atletico boss Diego Simeone. Nick Potts/PA Wire
Atletico boss Diego Simeone. Nick Potts/PA Wire

Matt Law

Roman Abramovich would have to change Chelsea's transfer strategy to make Diego Simeone the club's next permanent manager as the Argentinian would demand the final say over technical director Michael Emenalo on all incoming players.

The Chelsea owner has made Simeone one of his top targets, along with Pep Guardiola, to take over at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, following last week's decision to sack Jose Mourinho and install Guus Hiddink as caretaker manager.

Hiddink made himself popular with the Chelsea players on his first official day of working with them when he changed their Christmas plans to give them St Stephen's Day night with their families after the game against Watford in an attempt to improve a mood that became tense under Mourinho.

While Hiddink attempts to save Chelsea's season, Abramovich must look for his next permanent appointment and faces a dilemma over Atletico Madrid manager Simeone, who would immediately want at least five new players to follow him as part of a Stamford Bridge rebuild.

A source close to Simeone said he is extremely happy at Atletico and will only consider quitting Spain for Chelsea if all of his conditions are met. The final say over all incoming transfers would be a "non-negotiable".

Emenalo plays a big role in Chelsea's transfer business - Mourinho admitted he had nothing to do with the summer signing of defender Papy Djilobodji.

With no permanent manager at Chelsea, Emenalo will take sole charge of the club's January transfer window plans and chase targets such as Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira.

If Abramovich refuses Simeone's demands or cannot lure Guardiola, he would turn his attention to Italy coach Antonio Conte or Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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