Former Atletico de Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez faces a dilemma on whether to return to the club as a coach or continue his playing career.
As outlined by Marca, the 36-year-old has been offered a return to Los Rojiblancos as part of the club’s coaching staff but he still plays under Xavi Hernandez for Qatari club Al Sadd.
Now it is said that the Asian club are not optimistic that Gabi will remain beyond this summer despite the wishes of Xavi in attempting to persuade him to stay.
The long-term number two to Diego Simeone – German ‘Mono’ Burgos, has been reported by Marca to be close to leaving the club at the end of the season.
Burgos and Simeone arrived at Atleti together in 2011 and they have worked closely together at the club in the timeframe since but reports now say Burgos may leave to begin his own coaching career elsewhere.
A subsequent report in Mundo Deportivo, via El Desmarque, that Gabi could be appointed as part of the coaching staff with Nelson Vivas promoted to Simeone’s assistant.
Now aged 36, Gabi spent the first four years of his career at Los Rojiblancos before stints at Getafe and Real Zaragoza returning to the Spanish capital in 2011.
The central midfielder clocked up over 400 first-team appearances for the club over the two spells – winning the 2014 La Liga title and reaching two Champions League finals.
“I know the Coach and I think I would be able to help, but I don’t know if it’s time,” Gabi previously told Cadena Ser’s El Larguero show.
“If that time comes, I’ll do my best for the Atleti, not for me, for the Atleti.
“I would learn a lot from Cholo, it would be a masterclass and if it comes I will think about that situation.”
“The greatest talent I ever coached was Ronaldo but at the same time he was the player who created the most problems for me in the dressing room. He used to throw parties and do everything. Once Van Nistelrooy said to me: ‘Coach, the dressing room smells like alcohol’.” Find out who which manager said this right here.