‘This Won’t Be His Final Season’
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo insists that Manchester United transfer target Antoine Griezmann isn’t in his final season with the club.
Griezmann was all set to move to Old Trafford at the end of last season. However, the decision by the Court Of Arbitration For Sport in June to uphold Atletico’s year-long transfer ban led to an about-turn by the France international. He instead signed a new deal with the La Liga side that saw his release clause rise initially to €200million (£176million) before falling back to €100million (£88million) after the La Liga transfer window closed on 1 September.
But Cerezo insists that Griezmann will be staying at the Wanda Metrpolitano beyond the end of this season.
“We put in a lot of effort to keep him and all the players,” Cerezo told Marca.
“The problem Griezmann has had is that he has not been benefited by a series of news stories about other important European clubs wanting him.
“Griezmann is and will be an Atletico player. He is an important player at an important club and he wants to win titles with Atletico.”
The 26-year-old scored 26 goals for Atletico last season. This season he has scored just three.
“He may have had a start to the season which could have been better, but there is a lot left of the LaLiga season for him to show how important he is for the club and how important football is for him,” added Cerezo.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are expected to challenge Manchester United for Griezmann – should Atletico change their mind and make him available next summer. His release fee rises again to €200million from 1 July – and he will spend much of the period from the end of the Spanish season up to then with France at the World Cup finals.