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Thomas Tuchel emerges as possible Diego Simeone replacement at Atletico Madrid

Thomas Tuchel emerges as possible Diego Simeone replacement

Ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has emerged as the favourite to replace underfire Diego Simeone as Atletico Madrid boss, according to Fichajes.

The Spanish giants have been poor for much of the season, but failing to progress from their Champions League group stage has been the highlight of their underwhelming campaign thus far.

Their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Portuguese champions FC Porto meant the Colchoneros won just one of their six group-stage games (D2, L3).

They picked up just five points, and although they were level with third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, they failed to secure a place in the Europa League because of their head-to-head record with the German club.

The Atletico hierarchy stood by their manager despite their humiliating exit from the Champions League. However, having won just two of their last eight games in all competitions (D3, L3), pressure has started to mount on the Argentine manager.

Since taking over at Atletico in 2011, the 52-year-old has won La Liga and the Europa League twice, taking them out of the shadows of league giants and fierce rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Atletico finished third last season, two points behind Barcelona and a massive 15 behind capital neighbours Real Madrid.

However, coupled with their uninspiring displays in the Champions League, they are trailing league leaders Barcelona by 13 points with 14 games played to date. 

There is speculation that Atletico could axe him and Tuchel will be the favourite to replace him.

The German has been a free agent since his sudden departure from Chelsea in September. He has also been linked with the England job as a potential successor to Gareth Southgate, and he admitted that he does see the allure of the international game.

Simeone will remain Atletico boss, at least for now, with his side going into the international break on the back of a 2-0 win over SD Almazan in the Copa del Rey.

When club football returns, they will welcome Elche before hosting Barcelona at the Metropolitano Stadium.

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