Former Arsenal star Paul Merson feels Diego Simeone would prefer the opportunity of managing a Premier League club with Atletico Madrid having dropped their performance levels this term. The Argentine has emerged as a surprise target for Everton with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri looking to recruit a head coach of high pedigree following Ronald Koeman's dismissal.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson believes Simeone could be tempted to takeover the managerial reigns at Goodison Park with Atletico Madrid's progress on the decline in recent months, he said, "This is where it has taken Simeone now. People are saying he might be a bit big for the club but he's been around a long time, Atletico Madrid are not the team they were and they are falling behind a bit. He'll look at the Premier League and think 'right, I'm not going to be manager of Liverpool, Man City or Arsenal, maybe Chelsea' and all of a sudden, Everton are the next best thing. Even with where they are, they are the next biggest club with money and big wages, then he's in the Premier League."
While many could argue that Atletico's transfer ban has had an effect on their overall performance, the Spanish outfit have collectively failed to produce with nine draws and one defeat already in all competitions this term. The frontline is likely to be bolstered by the return of Diego Costa in January, but there are still doubts whether the Spaniard can perform at the same intensity after a seven-month spell without competitive football.
Everton also have the likes of Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, and caretaker David Unsworth in consideration for the permanent job, and another Gunners great Ian Wright feels that the club should avoid punching above their weight. Bringing a manager of Simeone's calibre will increase the need for world-class recruits, and the Wright is unsure whether players from top clubs would be tempted by the project.