It looks like it’s finally happening. Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave the club ‘at some point’ as rumours grow of a move to another European giant.
It seemed likely that the French striker was going to make the move in the summer, but following the ACL injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic that led to Romelu Lukaku being drafted in, as well as Atletico’s transfer ban – which prevented them from registering players in the summer – Griezmann stayed put.
Reports last week then suggested United were still a possibility, but according to French newspaper Le 10 Sport the 26 year old is very close to agreeing terms with La Liga rivals Barcelona, though the clubs are yet to negotiate.
Now, it seems the inevitable is close to happening after Simeone’s latest comments emerged online:
“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.
In Griezmann’s new biography, ‘Behind a smile, the life of the Little Prince told by himself’, as quoted by Sky Sports, he says something that will seriously encourage United fans:
“In June, I extended my contract. I’m linked to the club until 2022. Although I might be missing out on titles, I have everything here to be happy but that does not mean to say I won’t go one day.
“I haven’t made that decision. It all depends on various factors. I have nothing against England except for the weather. Manchester United is a possibility.
“As much as I repeat that I am delighted at Atletico, I have a great coach and great team-mates, they regularly ask me about my future. I do not exclude anything.”