Thursday 14 December 2017

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone gives Man United hope with response to reports of Antoine Griezmann transfer

SPAIN, Madrid:Atletico de Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann and Atletico de Madrid's Argentine coach Diego Pablo Simeone Celebrates a goal during the Spanish League 2015/16 match between Atletico de Madrid and Athletic de Bilbao, at Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid on December 13, 2015.
SPAIN, Madrid:Atletico de Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann and Atletico de Madrid's Argentine coach Diego Pablo Simeone Celebrates a goal during the Spanish League 2015/16 match between Atletico de Madrid and Athletic de Bilbao, at Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid on December 13, 2015.

Mark Critchley

Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid manager, has said that he would not stand in Antoine Griezmann’s way should the player wish to move to Manchester United.

The principles of a prospective summer deal for Griezmann between the two clubs have been verbally agreed, including the 25-year-old’s potential salary.

Griezmann is “extremely keen” to play alongside his international team-mate Paul Pogba at club level, and could succeed his close friend as the world’s most expensive footballer if the switch to Old Trafford goes ahead.

When pressed on Griezmann’s future ahead of Atletico’s Copa del Rey quarter-final against Eibar, Simone said: “I don't tie anyone down, I simply keep working to continue getting better for the sake of the club.”

“[Griezmann] is in an extraordinary moment, is working well, has gotten back on the scoresheet and his form is good.

“It is normal that the best teams in the world want him. I am not surprised that the teams who are looking are the ones who can afford him.”

Simeone’s comments contrast with those from Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo, who confirmed United's interest in Griezmann but played down chances of the player leaving Madrid in the short term.

“There are many offers,” Cerezo admitted to #Minuto0, the Spanish television programme. “I don’t know what will come of Manchester United’s interest.

“What I can say though is that Griezmann will be an Atletico player for a long time,” he added.

Griezmann has struggled to recreate his best form this term, having ended last season as top scorer at the European Championships.

The France international has notched 12 times across all competitions during the current campaign, turning out on 25 occasions for Atletico.

(© Independent News Service)

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