Manchester United-linked Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave Atletico Madrid, manager Diego Simeone has revealed.
The French international came close to joining Man United last summer, with the Reds ready to trigger his €100m release clause.
After Atleti’s transfer ban was upheld by FIFA, meaning they couldn’t buy players until January, Griezmann committed his future to the club out of loyalty, signing a new deal. However, the player and his representatives ensured the same release clause remaining in his new deal.
That meant he didn’t come to Old Trafford, but that could well be a possibility soon, with Simeone admitting Griezmann will be allowed to leave the La Liga side.
“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave,” Simeone said, speaking to L’Equipe.
“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.”
Simeone’s attitude seems similar to Sir Alex Ferguson’s at United when Cristiano Ronaldo outlined his intentions to join Real Madrid, the team of his dreams. The similarities continue, with Fergie telling Ronaldo to stay for one more season and then he could leave. Griezmann is midway through that one additional season, and could leave in summer.
However, that may not be to travel to Manchester, with FC Barcelona favourites to sign Griezmann and Paris Saint-Germain also linked.