When news broke that Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid had agreed to reduce the Argentine’s contract until 2018, there was no clear reason as to why.
ESPN have done some great work on tryin to understand why.
They spoke to three people who might know - Inaki Diaz Guerra from El Mundo, Ruben Uria of Cadena SER and TV Espana and Jesus Martinez from fan group Senales de Humo- in an effort to better understand why. Here’s what they said:
The first thing in the 'Simeone case' is to understand that we are looking at a very unusual club-coach relationship, "Simeone is not Atletico's coach -- he is a God for the fans, a saviour, the guy who took a buried giant and, overnight, converted it into one of Europe's top five clubs. There's no other case in current world football where the success of the club is so inextricably linked with its coach. Atleti is Simeone." - Inaki Diaz-Guerra
This does not particularly offer a reason either but Ruben Uria’s explanation offers some insight into disagreements over transfer this summer.
"There are many ways to interpret the reduction. That Simeone is preparing his exit. That every cycle comes to an end. That Simeone is not comfortable, as the board did not give him what he asked for. Or simply that both sides have become convinced the best thing is not to mortgage their future."
Jesus Martinez also says that there was a little dischord following the summer transfers.
"Simeone will stay at Atleti, regardless of the terms, while he feels good there, he feels loved and he can compete. The reason for shortening the contract could have been a way of pressuring the owners, who know they cannot get rid of him due to his relationship with the fans, given the disagreements over transfer policy."
So there you have it, it seems Simeone did not want to tie himself to the club just in case it prevents a move later on while also ensuring he does not mortgage his future. He knows where he stands with the fans and he understands how important he is to the club. Why would he sign away his future?
It also gives the club’s hierarchy a needed kick in the ass as to how easily this could all fall down before them if Simeone, and some of his trusted players leave in the next couple of transfer windows.