Chelsea and Diego Simeone would be the perfect match, says Graeme Le Saux

Atletico Madrid manager has worked wonders and is ideal candidate to replace Guus Hiddink, says former defender

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The Independent Football

Diego Simeone’s success at Atletico Madrid makes him the ideal candidate to take charge of Chelsea this summer, believes Graeme Le Saux.

Simeone has transformed Atletico into a genuine force during little more than four years, winning a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey and reaching a Champions League final.

He is also a powerful personality capable of rallying a dressing room, traits which Le Saux believes Chelsea need as the club aim to rebuild in the summer.

Speaking exclusively to, Simeone said: "It’s fantastic what he [Simeone] achieved at Atletico. He’s working in a tough league that is dominated by two teams yet he’s developed a squad and morale of that underdog mentality.

“They are a feisty team who have an edge to them and never get intimidated. I look at him and he’s a man whose stock has risen over the past four years and with Chelsea you think what does that fit look like? He will have caught Chelsea’s eye but so will any number of other managers.”

Chelsea are understood to have made a bid of £15m plus Christian Atsu for Leicester City’s in-form winger Riyad Mahrez, who has scored 13 goals for Claudio Ranieri’s side this season.

January Transfer window - completed deals

But Le Saux, who made more than 180 appearances between 1997 and 2003, believes Guus Hiddink’s team has enough quality without further additions being made.

“I don’t look at the Chelsea side and say they are in need of a massive overhaul,” Le Saux added. “A lot of it is the form and morale of the players.

“I look at the whole squad and they’ve got about 30 players out on loan and younger players in need of an opportunity to play and their first team won the Premier League last year. So who do they then add to make them better?

“They’ve got Pedro, Hazard, Oscar and Willian so I don’t necessarily see Mahrez fitting into that as a matter of urgency. They’ve got plenty of options available to them to get the formula right without going out and buying more players.”

To read the full interview, head to