Atletico Madrid hires Simeone as new coach

Atletico Madrid has hired former Argentina midfielder Diego
Simeone as its new coach to replace the fired Gregorio Manzano.

Atletico said Friday that Simeone has agreed to a contract until
the end of the 2012-13 season.

”The Argentine coach accepted the club’s offer on Thursday to
take over for the rest of the season and the next,” Atletico said
in a statement. ”He’ll arrive on Monday to take charge of the
team.”

Simeone, who played for Atletico during its last
championship-winning season in 1996, will be officially presented
on Tuesday.

Manzano was fired on Thursday, a day after Atletico was
eliminated from the Copa del Rey by third-tier Albacete.

Simeone is a former Atletico player who also led Estudiantes and
River Plate to Argentine league titles. His appointment has been
expected since he quit as coach of Racing Club earlier this week,
even before Mazano was fired.

Atletico has struggled since the exit of South American strikers
Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan in the offseason, sitting 10th in
the Spanish league and four points above the relegation zone.