Taken in isolation, these two developments may not have anything to do with each other. Even when taken together, they may not mean much beyond just the purely administrative nature of the actions. But expecting the rumor mill not to elevate them to something possibly juicy and meaningful would be futile.
Resistance is futile.
First up is highly coveted head coach Diego Simeone, who's been linked with a move to the Premier League for several seasons now. The Premier League (We may not have the best players, but we have the best managers!) is the ultimate challenge for any football manager and Simeone's intensity and cult of personality has for a long time been deemed perfect for the biggest league in the world.
But Simeone's also been very loyal to Atletico Madrid since taking over in 2011, repeatedly refusing other offers and recently signing a contract extension until 2020. Except that contract has now been suddenly shortened by two years, as claimed by reports in both AS and Marca. If nothing else, that's certainly "a strange move", to quote our friends at Into the Calderon, just a month into the season. The now two-year contract is assumed to basically mean that Simeone will be leaving in the summer, with the one remaining year surely nothing but a token hurdle to clear for any sort of incoming our outgoing compensation.
Given the two clubs' already burgeoning business relationship, the revolving door at Chelsea would be a most logical choice for Simeone once he does leave Atleti ... though with Chelsea on the verge of a thirty-year Conte Dynasty, that's no longer needed, right? A far more intriguing option would be Arsenal, or perhaps a challenge in Italy with Inter Milan, another one of Simeone's former clubs.
Hot on the heels of the Simeone news is the sudden change in Antoine Griezmann's situation. No, he's not officially available, but as he revealed to L'Equipe, he's now sans agent.
"From now I'm going to operate without an agent. But I will always have the advice of my father and also my mentor, Eric Olhats."
-Antoine Griezmann; source: L'Equipe via Telegraph
Olhats is a familiar name from the summer just gone as the person who disputed reports that Griezmann was 100 per cent set to stay at Atletico and claimed that they were open to talking with clubs who offer "real interest and attraction". While Griezmann ended up staying once again and signed yet another contract extension to theoretically tie him down to the Rojiblancos until 2021, his decision to change representation in the wake of the Simeone news (who's been a big motivator behind Griezmann's success) certainly raises a few eyebrows.
The Telegraph claim that Chelsea and Manchester United are now on "red alert", which follows on reports from just last week about the two Premier League heavyweights already making Griezy plans for next summer, with Chelsea perhaps holding the biggest bargaining chip in the form of (a homesick?) Diego Costa.
With Pogba off the market and the other big stars of the Spanish game certainly not available, Antoine Griezmann is likely to be the biggest story next summer. Sounds like we'll have front row tickets once again.