Diego Simeone will know if the time is right to walk away from Atletico Madrid, according to the club's former head coach Quique Sanchez Flores.
A 3-0 defeat to Villarreal on Monday saw the 2014 champions drop to sixth in LaLiga, 12 points behind leaders Real Madrid after 15 matches.
A run of just one win in five league games and further comments about his interest in taking charge at Inter in future has led to speculation that Simeone could step down as coach before the beginning of next season.
And when asked if Simeone's tenure was nearing an end, Flores, who won the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in a two-year spell at the Vicente Calderon, told Omnisport: "I don't know. I believe he has the right to choose when to finish his time at Atletico.
"I'm sure he will feel either if his philosophy diminishes amongst the players or if that message remains strong.
"He's an important guy. He knows who to pick things well so he will know when it is the best time to leave Atletico."
Atletico have won five trophies, including LaLiga and the Copa del Rey, and reached two Champions League finals since Simeone took over in 2011.
Espanyol boss Flores says his old club's success in recent years has come as little surprise given the emerging talent that he helped to develop.
"We took part in the early stages of that process when they started winning titles," he said. "When we won that first Europa League and also the UEFA Super Cup, we realised that there was a huge potential within the team.
"After us, Simeone took over. The squad was considerably improved, so was the budget.
"They got so many titles. Valencia and Atletico are big teams and when you coach them you realise about their real chances."