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Atletico Madrid contact former Barcelona manager as uncertainty looms over Simeone – report

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Following Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 loss to FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night, question marks are being raised over the future of Diego Simeone.

The defeat in Portugal meant that not only Atletico crashed out of the Champions League but also missed out on a Europa League berth as they finished fourth in Group B, behind Porto, Club Brugge and Bayer Leverkusen.

A serious inquest will likely be carried out within the club following the disastrous run in Europe during which they won just one game and lost three (D2).

While it has been claimed that manager Simeone has the backing of the board, it might not be the case, with reports claiming that Los Colchoneros are already sounding out potential replacements for the Argentine.

Indeed, according to Javi de la Pena on El Chiringuito TV, Atletico Madrid have contacted the entourage of former Barcelona boss and current Spain national team manager Luis Enrique, as a possible candidate to take over from Simeone at the Civitas Metropolitano.

The 52-year-old has not managed any club since stepping down from Barcelona in 2017 and has been in charge of the Spanish national team ever since, barring a small period in 2019 when he took a leave of absence for personal reasons.

But Enrique’s contract with La Roja stands to expire at the end of the year, soon after the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. And Atletico Madrid could be ready to move in when that happens as they have reportedly contacted his camp already.

A highly successful manager at the club and international level, Enrique could be a shrewd appointment for the Rojiblancos if indeed they have made up their mind to move on from Simeone.

El Cholo has been in charge of Atletico since 2011 and is closing in on 600 matches managed at the club. A legend at the Civitas Metropolitano, the 52-year-old has led the team to two La Liga title triumphs and two UEFA Europa League trophies.

But given how things have been going this season, it seems like Atletico have reached the end of the cycle under Simeone and a change could be in the offing.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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