Chelsea iden­tify re­place­ment

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Chelsea are look­ing at Atletico Madrid boss Diego Sime­one ( pic­tured) as a re­place­ment for Jose Mour­inho.

Mour­inho was given a vote of con­fi­dence by owner Ro­man Abramovich last week.

But he was made aware that he must now re­assert his author­ity in the Stam­ford Bridge dress­ing room if he is to have a longterm fu­ture at the club.

That has prompted Chelsea to as­sess the pos­si­bil­ity of pris­ing Sime­one out of Atletico.

Ac­cord­ing to sources in Por­tu­gal, Mour­inho is aware that the Blues are putting a suc­ces­sion plan in place if he fails to turn around Chelsea’s stut­ter­ing sea­son.

Sime­one is ad­mired for the job he has done at Atletico - but he will come at a huge cost.

The Ar­gen­tine signed a new five-year con­tract worth a ba­sic £22.5mil­lion in March.

The deal in­cluded a £15mil­lion buy-out clause that either party can trig­ger at the end of each sea­son.

Sime­one, who won 106 caps for Ar­gentina dur­ing a play­ing ca­reer that saw him play in Italy and Spain af­ter leav­ing Velez Sars­field as a 20-year-old, has a rep­u­ta­tion as a ruth­less op­er­a­tor who com­mands huge re­spect with the Atletico play­ers.

He guided the Madrid club to a shock La Liga ti­tle in 2014 and also the fi­nal of the Cham­pi­ons League.

He has also won the Europa League and Copa de Rey. — mir­

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