Diego Simeone has hinted that he will not stand in the way of Antoine Griezmann if he wants a move away from Atletico Madrid in the summer.
According to Manu de Juan of AS Sport, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has left the door open for star attacker Antoine Griezmann to leave the club in the summer amid growing interest from the Premier League.
The Spaniard said, “I don’t tie anyone down, I simply keep working to continue getting better for the sake of the club. He is in an extraordinary moment, is working well, has gotten back on the scoresheet and his form is good.
“It is normal that the best teams in the world want him. I am not surprised that the teams who are looking are the ones who can afford him.”
The French forward is one of football’s hottest prospects today and still only 25 years old. His performances have been improving astronomically for Los Rojiblancos and he has also become a key figure for the national side.
Manchester United have been closely monitoring the player since the summer and the world-record acquisition of Griezmann’s French compatriot Paul Pogba only added to the buzz of linking the striker with a move to Old Trafford.
In September, the Atletico talisman admitted that he dreams of playing with Pogba at club level, and could see it turn into a reality very shortly. According to recent reports, Griezmann has verbally agreed to a deal with United and would join his counterpart at the end of the season.
The 25-year-old could be arriving at the opportune time at the club as manager Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his side with world-class talent and turn around the fortunes at Old Trafford.
Despite making noteworthy signings in the summer, Mourinho’s men currently find themselves in sixth place – a staggering 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the club’s talisman, leading the line with 19 goals in all competitions this term.
However, the Swede is already 35 years old and could end his career soon. He is expected to sign a two-year extension at the end of this season, and could be the perfect mentor for Griezmann at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic could see himself playing a more relaxed role, handing over the baton to a younger and quicker forward. It might take time for Griezmann to adapt to life in the Premier League, but given his quality, he could become one of the most prolific strikers England’s top flight has ever seen.
United’s league rivals Chelsea are also interested in Griezmann and are expected to put up a fight for the player’s signature. Current striker Diego Costa has been involved in a bust up with the club hierarchy as he is reportedly looking to force a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Should Antonio Conte fail to resolve the situation with the Spaniard, Griezmann may be eyed by the Italian as a like-for-like replacement. Michy Batshuayi has struggled to replicate Costa’s success, and the Atletico forward may just be the man get the job done for the Blues.