SportSoccer

Atletico boss admits he does not know where Griezmann will go

Griezmann scored an equaliser for Atletico Madrid in Saturday's game against Real Madrid
Griezmann scored an equaliser for Atletico Madrid in Saturday's game against Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has admitted he does not know where his lead striker Antoine Griezmann will be playing next season, amid rumours in Spain that Real Madrid are preparing a mega-money move to sign him this summer.

Manchester United have been persistently linked with a move for Griezmann in recent months, but the France striker has admitted he is wary of a move to England due to the inclement weather and the media intrusion into his private life.

While he has persistently insisted he is in no rush to leave Atletico, a €100m move this summer may be too lucrative for all involved to walk away from, with United and Real Madrid likely to battle it out for his signature.

Griezmann halted Real Madrid’s march towards a La Liga title with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Saturday night, with his boss Simoene admitting he may not be in control of his striker’s future.

“I don't know where he's going to go, but I am excited by the way he plays,” Simeone replied in his post-match press conference, when asked about Griezmann's future.

“Given that he is talented, it is pleasing to see how he sacrifices himself for the team.

“I have debated his position with a number of people as he is clinical, he heads well and he dribbles well. I am pleased with how it's going for him.”

Simeone conceded earlier this year that Griezmann could leave Atletico at the end of the season, with the €100m release clause in his contract leaving the club helpless to halt his exit.

“There is a release clause and there are no guarantees,” he said. “From here on in, I don't know what can happen.”

Griezmann would never allow me to demand of him to stay,” Simeone said. “I didn’t do it with (Diego) Costa and with (Radamel) Falcao. The players that have given me their lives, I obviously accompany them in the decisions that they take.

“What is clear is that as long as Griezmann stays, the team and the club will continue to grow.”

Real Madrid's draw in the derby against Atletico did not hurt their title ambitions, as a defeat for Barcelona at Malaga on Saturday night ensured Zinedine Zidane's remained three point clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.