MX23RW : Monday, June 14 05:55:43| >> :120:79444:79444:

Diego Simeone: 'I love Antoine Griezmann very much'

Diego Simeone: 'I love Antoine Griezmann very much'
© Reuters
France forward Griezmann has decided to leave the Wanda Metropolitano this summer.

Diego Simeone and Alvaro Morata insist Atletico Madrid should be thankful to Antoine Griezmann as he prepares to leave the club this summer.

Twelve months after protracted speculation ended with Griezmann opting to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano, the France forward has now informed the club he wishes to leave this summer after again being linked with Barcelona.

Coach Simeone said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's game with Levante, reported by Marca: "First of all I am grateful for the footballer we have had.

"I only have words of gratitude for Griezmann. As a person I love him very much.

"When you give everything like Antoine has given us, we are calm. We knew Griezmann's departure was a possibility."

"We had (Fernando) Torres, (Diego) Forlan, (Sergio) Aguero, (Radamel) Falcao, (Mario) Mandzukic, Griezmann... and we always competed in the same way, because this club's structure and strength isn't like it used to be.

"In the last 10 years, we've seen that the club is more important than any one of us."

Regarding potential targets to replace Griezmann, who has averaged a goal every two games for Atletico across LaLiga and the Champions League, Simeone joked he will look for: "Someone who scores 20 goals a season and costs very little."

Alvaro Morata, Griezmann's strike partner for the second half of this season after joining on an 18-month loan from Chelsea, also thanked the Frenchman for his efforts.

"I'm good, and the squad too," Morata told Marca. "We wish he could have stayed, but he's taken that decision.

"It's a decision that we have to respect, we have to thank him for what he's done for this club, which is a lot, and we respect his decision."

Paris St Germain will not be Griezmann's destination after coach Thomas Tuchel admitted: "He could play for any team in the world. However, he is unrealistic for us."

Rodri Hernandez is another who could be heading for the exit door, with the midfielder strongly linked with Manchester City, while out-of-contract defender Diego Godin is also leaving.

Simeone, who has been in charge of Atletico since 2011, insists the high-profile departures will have no bearing on his own future.

"I'm still excited about all this, I'm still staying," he said.

Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone remains committed to Atletico Madrid (John Walton/PA)

"Everything that comes before me is wonderful, I see a lot of hope that this is going to generate important changes.

"It's almost eight years, it's normal for these things to happen. I hope we can continue growing and continue competing as we have always done."

Goalkeeper Jan Oblak will miss the Levante game with a thigh injury, with Antonio Adan in line to deputise.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '214b87f3-930a-489f-849d-dab99324cae6');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + + location.hash), 'title': 'Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone pays tribute to departing Antoine Griezmann'});

ID:359558: cacheID:359558:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:8633:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Marcos Alonso celebrates his equaliser during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Chelsea on April 28, 2019
Read Next:
Report: Atletico Madrid want Marcos Alonso

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Monday, June 14, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Todays Game Header Right
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!