Why Simeone going to Chelsea should sound alarm bells at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger will turn 67 next season while most of his rivals will still be in their 40s
Another of Europe's brightest young coaches appears to be on his way to the Premier League with reports in Spain saying Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has agreed to become Chelsea manager next season.
If the Argentine does sign a £9m-a-season deal with the Blues, as has been suggested, he will become the third elite European coach to arrive in England in the space of 12 months, following in the footsteps of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Simeone, a combative midfielder best known to English fans as the player who got David Beckham sent off at the 1998 World Cup, broke the domination of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. During his four years in the Spanish capital, he has won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League, as well as taking his side to the Champions League final in 2014.
His arrival at Stamford Bridge would be a coup for Chelsea, says Metro, among others.
It would add to the sense of anticipation ahead of next season, but should also sound alarm bells at Arsenal, particularly if the Gunners fail to win the title this year.
Next season, Arsene Wenger will celebrate 20 years in charge of the London side - but the landmark also serves as a reminder that the Gunners need to address the issue of succession. Wenger turns 67 in October and that makes him not only the longest-serving, but also the oldest manager in the league.
In contrast, Simeone will be 46, Liverpool boss Klopp 49 and Manchester City manager Guardiola 45. Manchester United are likely to be led by Jose Mourinho, who is still only 53, or Ryan Giggs, who, at 42, will be 24 years younger than Wenger.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is a youthful 43 and if he inspires Spurs to finish above Arsenal for the first time in 21 years, it will send a very clear message to the Emirates.
Claudio Ranieri, 65 in October, has worked wonders with Leicester City but even if they win the title, his success will be seen as a flash in the pan.
Of England's biggest clubs, all but Arsenal will have managers under in their 40s or early 50s next season, each looking forward to building on solid starts to their careers. The Gunners, on the other hand, are being led by someone now perceived by many as a stubborn old man from a different generation.
Even more worryingly for Arsenal, as their present coach heads towards retirement, many of those young managers once touted as replacements are now in charge of the club's Premier League rivals, while Wenger's chances of a late-career flourish look slim.
"With a handful of exceptions, most notably Alex Ferguson, managers seem to be limited to a decade of sustained achievement at the very peak of the game," said Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian earlier this month, and Arsenal have not dominated the English game since the demise of The Invincibles.
"As Arsenal have stuttered recently, it feels as though the past decade of Wenger's management has been called into question," he wrote.
There have already been claims that his training methods have contributed to the Gunners' continuing injury woes, while his once innovative approaches to diet and scouting are now commonplace.
At last year's annual general meeting, Wenger told shareholders: "It is very important to me that I leave the club in the shape that the guy who comes after me can do better."
If the next guy is up against Simeone, Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho or Giggs, Arsenal should start grooming him immediately.