Diego Simeone has confirmed Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to depart the La Liga club if he wishes.
As reported in the Independent (via L’Equipe) Madrid manager Diego Simeone said:
“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.
“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.”
The French international was reportedly close to a move to the Premier League with Manchester United last summer but he pulled the plug on the deal after Atletico failed to get their transfer ban overturned, meaning Simeone would have been unable to replace his star man until January.
Former Atletico and Chelsea striker Diego Costa has already been signed and could fill the gap of the departing star man.
Griezmann’s loyalty to Simeone and Atletico is set to be rewarded now with Barcelona also said to be interested in the 26-year-old.
Jose Mourinho will be hoping Griezmann’s close friendship with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will be enough to persuade the player to join the Old Trafford side with fellow French International Anthony Martial also on the United books.
With France heading to Russia for the World Cup next summer both the player and his French manager, Didier Deschamps will be eager to get any transfer business wrapped up early and not affect his World Cup preparations.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena
Check out the latest episode of The Mixer, where we spoke with Waterford manager Alan Reynolds