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Atletico Madrid’s president has called Diego Simeone “untouchable”, amid reports linking the manager with the vacant Everton job.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is in the process of discussing who will replace former Toffees boss Ronald Koeman and Simeone is the club’s top target, Sky Sports understands.

Simeone’s Atletico Madrid sit fourth in La Liga, eight points behind leaders Barcelona, and are at risk of missing out on the Champions League knockout stages.

Despite their relatively poor start to the season, Atleti president Enrique Cerezo insists the Argentine manager isn’t going anywhere.

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“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.”

Cerezo’s comments will add to those who believe Everton would face a tough task if they pursued Simeone.

Simeone is understood to be happy in Madrid having signed a new contract as recently as September, which could keep him at the Spanish club until 2020.

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