Atletico Madrid put
Gregorio Manzano out of his misery on Thursday when their
unpopular board sacked the coach following the King's Cup defeat
by third-tier Albacete and offered Diego Simeone his job.
The 55-year-old Manzano's departure came after less than
half a season in his second stint at the helm while former
Atletico midfielder Simeone said he was ready to take over after
quitting as coach of Racing Club in his native Argentina on
"The executive board of Atletico Madrid, in a meeting on
Thursday to assess the sporting situation, decided unanimously
to dismiss Gregorio Manzano as first team coach," the club said
on their website.
President Enrique Cerezo told reporters the 42-year-old
Simeone, a fan favourite as a player, was enthusiastic about
their offer and the club are expecting his response by Friday.
"We have only made an offer to Simeone," Cerezo added.
Manzano, who has also coached Real Mallorca, Sevilla and
Malaga, returned to Atletico in June, coinciding with the
departure of prized forwards Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan and
the arrival of striker Radamel Falcao and midfielders Diego and
Known as 'the professor', he has overseen an erratic
campaign including a 5-0 league drubbing at Barcelona.
Atletico, who would usually be challenging for a European
qualification berth, are 10th with 19 points from 16 matches and
there is widespread discontent among fans about the way the club
are being run.
At the end of the 2009/10 season their debts totalled 452
million euros, compared with revenue of 480
million, according to a study by a University of Barcelona
accounting professor published in June.
At a news conference after Wednesday's 1-0 home defeat (3-1
on aggregate) by Albacete, Manzano apologised to the fans, his
players and the board.
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