Atletico Madrid might not acknowledge it publicly, perhaps not even with Diego Simeone himself, but they are preparing for life after the Argentine should it be necessary.
Simeone is once again being questioned by some sectors of the press and fans this season after Los Colchoneros failed to fix their issues from last season in the first part of this campaign. Simeone is an icon and an Atleti legend. It is unlikely that he would ever be pushed out of the club, but if he decides to leave next summer of his own volition, then Atleti will be on the hunt for a new manager after over a decade of Simeone. Currently they sit fifth in La Liga, having struggled to remain solid at the back.
While former Spain manager Luis Enrique has been mentioned in conjunction with the post, Todofichajes have revealed that the club have been in touch with Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte. Sporting Director Andrea Berta has spoken with Conte about the prospect of taking over if Simeone does leave. The Argentine still has a contract until 2024, so any decision would Simeone’s alone.
Conte is in contract negotiations with Spurs himself, which perhaps suggests a modicum of caution is advised with the report. However on the face of it, Conte would be an ideal fit for Atleti. Admittedly, if Los Rojiblancos want to go in a different direction, Conte would perhaps be the most similar elite level manager they could find. Most Atleti fans would likely be happy with a manager of Conte’s calibre though.