DIEGO SIMEONE has refused to sign a new contract at Atletico Madrid in the hope of landing the Manchester City job instead.
Simeone has been offered a lucrative extension by Atletico that would keep him at the Spanish champions until 2022.
Simeone has established himself as one of the best bosses in world football after leading Atletico to the La Liga title last season and the Champions League final.
But despite holding talks with the Spanish club, the 44-year-old is stalling and has not signed the offer because he is desperate to succeed Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad.
Starsport understands Simeone is prepared to wait until the summer in the hope of being given the chance to take charge of the champions.
Pellegrini is feeling the heat at the Etihad and under increasing pressure as he struggles to defend the league title.
Despite his claims that his job is safe he will be sacked if he fails to deliver silverware this season and Etihad bosses have put Simeone on a three-man shortlist of potential replacements, along with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti.
Guardiola has already ruled himself out and while Ancelotti remains City’s No.1 choice it remains to be seen if he can be persuaded to leave Real Madrid.
That would leave Simeone as the favourite to take charge, with the Argentinian keen to get the chance to work at one of the leading clubs in English football.