Atletico Madrid insist that manager Diego Simeone, a reported target for Everton, is “untouchable”.
Managerless Everton have, according to numerous outlets, identified Simeone as their ideal candidate to replace Ronald Koeman.
David Unsworth is expected by many to be appointed full-time manager on at least a short-term basis until the end of the season.
But majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is thought to be high on the idea of chasing Simeone.
Atletico are fourth in La Liga and are almost certain to fail to reach the Champions League knock-outs, and are not even assured of a Europa League consolation prize.
But the club’s director, Enrique Cerezo, insists the Argentinean has a future in the capital.
“I want to say this in a loud voice,” said Cerezo. “Simeone is untouchable at Atletico Madrid, for the players, for the directors and for the supporters. Having doubts about Cholo Simeone is not allowed here.
“No club in the world has had 115 years of continuous and wonderful sporting success. We have had good, bad and average seasons and right now we’re in a good one. It only just started and we’re not even a third of the way through La Liga and we’re fighting for everything.”