Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has stressed that he isn’t looking for a move elsewhere amid reports suggesting he was keen on joining Manchester United or Paris Saint Germain.
The Frenchman came close to joining Man United back in June but eventually pledged his allegiance to Diego Simeone after the club’s transfer ban was upheld.
But Griezmann has continued to prompt speculation of a move away after he admitted that Atletico’s transfer ban was the main reason behind why he decided to stay in Spain, which led to teammate Koke telling him that he was free to leave if he wasn’t 100 per cent committed to the cause.
Speaking earlier this week, Griezmann reiterated that he was not thinking about moving away and expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of Diego Costa and Vitolo entering the fold in January.
“I don’t regret staying,” he said. “It was my choice. I’m happy with my choice, even if I’ve gone seven games without scoring. It will come back.
“Diego Costa and Vitolo will be coming so we will try to keep the team high enough. These two reinforcements will do us good.
“I did not discuss this [an exit agreement] with the president.”
Griezmann is saying all of the right things, of course, but latest display was indicative of a man whose mind is very much elsewhere.
Against Real Madrid, in a game that both side had to win, the Frenchman looked immobile, shaky, almost ghostlike. Utterly peripheral to the machinations of the encounter, save for a few smart touches. He didn’t manage to release one shot, or even get remotely close to a promising goalscoring position. That slippery tenacity in the final third was nowhere to be seen.
And when the 26-year-old came off, the cacophony of whistles and boos that greeted his departure were telling. Griezmann may have committed his future to Atletico, but there is an overriding feeling amongst supporters, the media, and perhaps even teammates that he already has one eye on the exit door.