Manchester United, Barcelona Both Linked
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admits that Barcelona and Manchester United transfer target Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave the club.
Griezmann was close to a move to United at the end of last season. But after Atletico saw their transfer embargo ratified he had a change of mind and was persuaded to sign a new contract. His release clause was increased from €100million (£88million) to €200million (£176million) on signing the new deal. It dropped back to €100million when the transfer window closed in Spain on 1 September but it goes back up to €200million on 1 July 2018.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, Simeone was asked if he Griezmann could ever be sold.
“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave,” Simeone said.
“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.”
Reports earlier this week suggested the 26-year-old could move to Barcelona rather than to Manchester United. He is known to be keen to remain in Spain having spent his entire professional career in La Liga. He was spotted by Real Sociedad as a teenager and he remained with the Basque side until 2014 when he joined Atletico Madrid.
The general consensus appears to be that Griezmann isn’t showing the same form as he did last season. He has scored five goals in 12 games in La Liga although three of goals have come in his last two games. It is believed that while United are still watching Griezmann they are also keeping tabs on other targets.