A source close to Simeone told The Telegraph that he is extremely happy at Atlético and will only consider quitting Spain for Chelsea if all of his conditions are met. The final say over all incoming transfers would be a “non-negotiable”.
Emenalo plays a big role in Chelsea’s transfer business and Mourinho even admitted he had nothing to do with the summer signing of central defender Papy Djilobodji.
Abramovich essentially backed Emenalo over Mourinho by not signing any of the big-name outfield stars the Portuguese wanted in the summer, other than Radamel Falcao on loan, and then holding the 52-year-old to account for the abysmal Premier League title defence.
With no permanent manager at Chelsea, Emenalo will take sole charge of the club’s January transfer window plans and chase targets such as Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira.
But Simeone would not stand for any Emenalo signings in the mould of Djilobodji or Michael Hector, who was immediately loaned back to Championship club Reading.
Simeone works closely with Atlético sporting director José Luis Caminero but retains the final say and right of veto over any incoming signings and the 45-year-old would not be prepared to give that up.
That would put Abramovich in the tricky position of either having to choose between Emenalo and Simeone, or attempting to negotiate some sort of compromise that suits both parties.
If Abramovich refuses Simeone’s demands, or cannot convince Guardiola to snub Manchester City, he would turn his attention to Italy coach Antonio Conte or Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.
Hiring Simeone would be an expensive process. The former midfielder earns £4.4 million net at Atlético and his buy-out clause, which would have to be met, is just under £15 million.
Abramovich would also have to make big funds available to Simeone, who would want the freedom to make major changes to the first-team squad.
Although he has previously shown an interest in managing in the Premier League, Simeone does not speak English.
Peter Kenyon, the former Chelsea chief executive, could play a major part in any negotiations between the Blues and Atlético, as he is an official adviser to the Spanish club’s board.
Hiddink held a low-key first full training session yesterday, as he discussed the remaining targets for the season in a 3pm team meeting and then put the Chelsea squad through their paces with assistants Steve Holland and Eddie Newton. After Watford, Chelsea face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Dec 28.
Meanwhile, Chelsea and Vitesse Arnhem have been cleared of having an improper relationship by the Dutch football association.
The independent probe established no undue influence by Chelsea over the Dutch club, to whom they have been regularly loaning players over the past five years, following allegations by former owner Merab Jordania that Chelsea heavily influenced policy at the club.