Diego Simeone is reportedly stalling on a new contract offer from Atletico Madrid, with the uncertainty over the managerial position at Manchester City reportedly behind his reticence.
The Mirror report that the Argentine, who won La Liga with Atleti last term, has been offered a deal until 2022, but is stalling to see whether there is a vacancy at the Etihad this summer.
Last season Simeone’s squad was ransacked in a manner seldom seen since the days of the early Egyptologists with Chelsea signing Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and reclaiming long-term loanee Thibaut Courtois.
‘El Cholo’ is 7/1 to be the next permanent Manchester City manager and if he does take over from Manuel Pellegrini a similar exodus is sure to be forthcoming in the close season.
The question is, which players should the Atleti boss bring with him on his sky-blue adventure?
The conductor of Simeone’s Los Colchoneros orchestra, the Spaniard won’t come cheap with Barcelona card-carrying members of his fan club, but at 23 years old he could form the bedrock of the City midfield for many years to come, changing the dynamic in their engine room.
Koke has already set up 12 goals across league and European endeavours this season, while he leads the side’s average pass statistics to boot.
He can play pretty much anywhere across orthodox and attacking midfield although he has been at his most productive in central midfield or on the left-hand side.
Mario Mandzukic may have been acquired to replace the Chelsea-bound Costa at the beginning of the campaign but the Croatian has been outscored by quicksilver winger Griezmann in La Liga.
The Frenchman now has 14 strikes in the division to his name and made his name as the kind of prolific wide-forward that the Citizens have long failed to acknowledge their need for.
However, this term Griezmann has also revealed himself a fearsome operator in a central berth alongside Mandzukic this term striking ten of his league goals in 13 games as a number ten.
Likely to be less well-known to Champions League-savvy English audiences the 20-year-old centre-half could be a formidable talent for the future.
Sufficiently highly rated to be pitched in for Uruguay against England at last summer’s World Cup, he has shone despite being used sparingly this season.
A man of the match in the away clean sheet against Juventus in the Champions League, he also netted in the Copa Del Rey shutout win over Real Madrid.
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