Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid old guard breaking up

Diego Godin

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is bracing himself for some big name exits this summer, as his experienced core nears the end of their La Liga careers.

The Argentinian is well aware of the ageing of his squad, however there appears to be little he can do to convince his stalwarts to agree to one last battle.

Defensive pair Diego Godin and Filipe Luis, who have been at the bedrock of Simeone’s side for the best part of a decade, but will leave when their contracts expire this summer.

Godin, 33, has been at the club for nine years after moving from Villarreal in 2010 – but looks set to move to Inter Milan, after turning down a summer move to the San Siro.

The offer of a final season or two in Serie A appears to have won over the Uruguayan international – as Atletico stick to their policy of offering one year deals to players over 30.

That contract standpoint also means that full back Luis will move on, with a potential switch to Barcelona, to provide cover for Jordi Alba, widely reported in recent weeks.

Right back Juanfran, another veteran of the Simeone era, is stalling on signing a contract extension until the end of the season.

The 34 year-old is in the same situation as his team mates, in that he would prefer a two year extension, but the club are only willing to extend his current deal to 2021.

If he decides against signing, he will see out the final year of his contract in 2019-20, and either move on, or retire from football.

These departures will mean Simeone has to replace some key figures in his squad over the summer, or look to promote from within.

Jose Giminez is already Godin’s first choice defensive partner, and will take over the role of senior figure in the back line.

Santiago Arias will replace Juanfran should he move on early, or remain as back up next season.

Francisco Montero and Nehuen Perez have both seen first team action this season, but if they are up to the level of first team La Liga football remains to be seen.

Simeone has already confirmed the signing of Hector Herrera from Porto, with his team mate Alex Telles widely reported to also be on his way, as a replacement for Luis and the already departed Lucas Hernandez.

However replacing Godin remains the biggest challenge, with Stefan Savic unlikely t be more than a stop gap solution.

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