RIO DE JANEIRO (XINHUA) – Veteran Spanish defender Juanfran (pic below) is set to leave Sao Paulo this year to assume an off-field role with his former club Atletico Madrid, according to media reports in Brazil.
The 35-year-old has made 26 appearances across all competitions since joining Sao Paulo last European summer after eight years in the Spanish capital. His current contract is due to expire in August though it is understood the Brazilian Serie A club hope to extend the deal.
According to the Gazeta Esportiva news service, Juanfran has been offered a position as Atletico’s Sporting Director under their Argentinian head coach Diego Simeone.
It added that his close relationship with Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Martin and a desire to return to his homeland meant he was unlikely to extend his stay in Brazil.
Juanfran played 355 games for Atletico, having joined the club from Osasuna in 2011. He has 22 Spain caps and was a member of the Roja squad that won the 2012 European Championship.