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Correa, Cerezo shut door on Simeone exit talk

The forward and the club president insisted in separate interviews that Atlético’s longtime manager is going nowhere.

CA Osasuna v Club Atletico de Madrid - LaLiga Santander Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid striker Ángel Correa claimed Monday that under-pressure manager Diego Simeone is set to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano “for many years.”

“In the club and on the bench, we all believe in him,” Correa told RTVE in an interview. “No one has doubts.”

Top scorer Correa, who is having his best-ever season under Simeone, has been at Atlético since 2014 and shares a close relationship with Cholo. He is among the few Rojiblancos to have shown genuine growth and development in what has been an intensely-disappointing season, one which could see Atleti finish outside LaLiga’s top four for the first time since 2011/12.

“Many players have come and gone, but Cholo is still here and continues to compete every year, even including this ‘down’ season,” Correa said. “Cholo will stay here for many years to come.”

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Club president Enrique Cerezo shares Correa’s confidence in the coach — at least publicly.

“We are going to have Diego Simeone for a while,” Cerezo told Cadena COPE on Monday. “It would be neither logical nor fair to look for another coach.”

Recent rumors have linked Ernesto Valverde and Marcelino García Toral with Atlético, and Cadena SER reporting last week that tensions between Simeone and sporting director Andrea Berta could see the managerial job open this summer. But Cerezo insisted Cholo has the board’s full support, and even said the 2021/22 season can still be successful.

“It has not crossed our minds that Simeone would stop being Atlético’s manager,” he said. “He is an important asset to the club that we must maintain.

“I don’t think there will be a crisis at Atleti. We are still the league champions, we can finish in the top four, and try to go far in the Champions League.”

Atlético are preparing to face Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United on Wednesday in the Champions League’s last 16. Under Simeone, Atleti have played Champions League knockout stage football eight times in nine seasons. Prior to Cholo’s appointment two days before Christmas 2011, the Colchoneros had advanced to the knockout phase of the Champions League (and the European Cup before it) just seven times.