Diego Simeone has confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has been a long-term target for Manchester United and came close to signing for the club, with the striker declaring that there was a 60% chance of him joining us, before Atletico Madrid were slapped with a transfer ban.
The La Liga side were banned in July 2016, from registering players for two transfer windows for breaching Fifa rules over the signing of minors.
The transfer ban saw Griezmann stay with Atletico and subsequently we cooled down our interest in the France international. However, United remain hellbent on signing Griezmann, with Mourinho eager to pair him with Romelu Lukaku up top.
Reports surfaced recently that instead of joining Manchester United, the French forward could switch to La Liga giants Barcelona. The Catalan giants are still in the market for a big-money forward to replace Neymar, who left for Paris Saint-Germain in summer and have plenty of cash to splash.
Now, Atletico manager Diego Simeone has conceded he will finally allow Griezmann to leave the club in the future.
He told French newspaper L’Equipe:
“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.
“I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow. I am not ungrateful. If a player comes to me and says: ‘coach, I have a once in a lifetime chance to play for a certain team, I want to leave’.”
“If he did all he could for me as Griezmann does, I’ll say it’s no problem. I know that he needs to grow,” Simeone added.
The 26-year-old will be aware of how important Simeone has been in his development since arriving at the Spanish capital in 2014. Simeone’s comments are candid and the Frenchman would appreciate it.
Moreover, Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid in the New Year, but that the club are preparing for life without him.
“Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid want him,” Balague told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think he has agreed anything with any club yet. Atletico have spoken to Barcelona about Griezmann but, again, nothing has been agreed.
“At this moment in time, I feel Manchester United are Barcelona are ahead of the other suitors,” he added.
This is great news as the player has been made available, publicly by the manager himself. If we are really intent on signing the French attacker, then I don’t see why we would not be able to beat PSG, Barcelona or Real Madrid for the player’s signature.