Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has addressed speculation linking Antoine Griezmann with a move to Manchester United over the summer, noting that he couldn’t confirm where he would be playing next season.
Griezmann, however, has made it clear on several occasions that he was happy at the Vicente Calderon and would not seek a summer move.
But Simeone, speaking after Atletico’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid, a game in which the Frenchman netted a late equaliser, did not offer the same level of assurance.
“I don’t know where he’s going to go, but I’m thrilled with how he plays, with his enthusiasm,” he said.
“It’s a pleasure to watch him turn in performances like he does.
“I was discussing his position with a lot of people. This lad is sharp, he heads well, he turns well with the ball … What’s happening to him right now makes me happy.”
Madrid’s entertaining clash with Atletico served as a powerful example of exactly why Mourinho has pinpointed Griezmann as his primary option ahead of the transfer window.
The Portuguese demands a level of ruthlessness throughout his side that he can trust to deliver at any moment. Mourinho will happily spend an entire afternoon being outplayed as long as his No.9 takes full of advantage of the one opportunity that comes his way.
This is exactly what Griezmann did for Simeone, who espouses a similar attitude when it comes to approaching big games. His side just about held out, staying in the game as Madrid pushed for a second, before the 25-year-old, suddenly presented with an opening, salvaged a valuable point for the visitors with an expertly-taken strike. Mourinho has, at times, sorely missed such deadly accuracy in front of goal this season.