Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone hasn’t completely ruled out the departure of star forward Antoine Griezmann, but has revealed talks are ongoing between the player and the club. Griezmann is one of the most highly-rated players in the world, and there has been interest for his services for quite a while now from the big English clubs.
The Frenchman has been under the radar of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea and has also been interesting the likes of Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid. And Simeone has said Griezmann and the Atletico hierarchy are locked in talks in a bid to work out what is best for the player as well as the club.
“The sporting directors have been speaking to him directly, with those close to him, in order to work out what’s best for him and the club,” Simeone was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. Griezmann has been in fine goalscoring form this season, netting 18 times in 29 games for Los Colchoneros in all competitions, with 12 in the league.
However, Simeone hasn’t refused to rule out the departure of the 24-year-old, hinting the ex-Real Sociedad player might be sold if Atletico receive an offer they can’t refuse. “Of course he’s a very important player for us, but we can’t hold him here with chains,” added Simeone.
Griezmann joined Atletico in the summer of 2014 from Real Sociedad and is contracted to his current club until 2020. He is one of the most coveted young players in the game, and any deal for Griezmann would possibly require the buying club to shell out an astronomical transfer fee.
Any move for Griezmann wouldn’t likely happen before the end of the 2015/16 season with the player himself admitting to his satisfaction at Atletico and his desire to help his club win trophies. Speaking to Telefoot [as quoted by the Telegraph], he said: “I am feeling very well at Atletico. This is a big club and I want to achieve great things here. I am ambitious and my goal is to win trophies here.”
With the new £5.14 billion Premier League TV deal kicking in from the 2016/17 season onward, the belief is Atletico would likely have to entertain bids from Premier League clubs next summer for Griezmann. And as Simeone said, if they receive an offer they can’t refuse, Griezmann might well be heading away from the Vicente Calderon in the summer.