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Diego Simeone dismisses Antoine Griezmann exit rumours: “I love him”

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Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

When Antoine Griezmann slammed the ball past David Soria at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, it was clear that the goal was very special for him. After all, it was the Frenchman’s first league goal since November 2021 when Atletico Madrid beat Cadiz.

It just took him 13 minutes on the field to combine with Joao Felix and seal the game for his team on the night. Griezmann had got his campaign off to a flyer, but ironically, reports immediately began flowing in that the club were looking to part ways with their French star.

Ahead of his team’s clash against Villarreal, Diego Simeone addressed the press where he spoke about Griezmann’s situation. As quoted by Antonio Ruiz, he said,

“I hope he continues with us, I appreciate him and I love him. I hope he can continue in the same line he had in the pre-season and this Getafe match.”

The manager then proceeded to talk about what made the former Barcelona player special and outlined his role in the team.

“He is adaptable to other positions and allows us to be more offensive from midfield forward. He has a vision of the game and work.”

Griezmann is now in the second year of his loan at Atletico Madrid and the club will have to shell out €40 million if he participates in at least 50% of the games across his spell.

Last season, he played 33 out of 40 games, thus registering an appearance in over 80% of the matches.

Los Rojiblancos do not intend to pay such a large sum for a player who has struggled to contribute. In fact, they are reportedly trying to offload the striker, following which Simeone was asked to comment on the Frenchman.

While the clause does not kick in until the end of the season, Simeone will be forced to bench Griezmann for most of the games henceforth to keep his appearances under 50%.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid will try to sign Arsenal, Liverpool target for free in the summer

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Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid saw a lot of movement during the January transfer window as they saw several players leave, while also bringing in a couple of new faces in.

But one player who they tried to sign and could not is Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram.

Indeed, according to AS, was on the top of director Andrea Berta’s list for the winter window as he is in the final six months of his contract. But, Gladbach asked for a fee of around €10-12 million to offload him, which prompted Atletico Madrid to move for Depay instead.

But the report states that Thuram continues to be on the agenda at the Civitas Metropolitano and Berta will try to sign him again in the summer transfer window.

However, there will be intense competition for the 25-year-old’s services given that he will be available for a free transfer at the end of the season.

Juventus and Inter Milan have shown an interest in Thuram, but there are a lot of clubs in England wishing to sign him up.

Indeed, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be gunning for the French forward’s signing while more clubs could join the list of his suitors as days progress.

So, it will be important for Atletico Madrid to achieve a top-four finish in La Liga and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for next season if they wish to attract a player of Thuram’s capability and calibre.

The 25-year-old has netted 13 goals and set up four more in 19 matches across all competitions. His ability to play anywhere across the frontline makes him an attractive prospect for interested parties such as Atletico.

But given the intense competition, Diego Simeone & co. will need to act swiftly if they wish to sign Thuram.

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