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Antoine Griezmann: 'Transfer ban main reason for Atletico Madrid stay'

Griezmann: 'Transfer ban main reason for stay'
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Antoine Griezmann remains coy on a potential future move to Manchester United, but says he felt like he "had to stay" at Atletico Madrid because of their transfer ban.

Antoine Griezmann has admitted that Atletico Madrid's upheld transfer ban was the main reason for his stay at the La Liga club, but remained coy on his future after next year.

In mid-June, the Frenchman penned a new deal at the Spanish capital outfit until 2022, a fortnight after the CAS rejected their appeal to have the sanction overturned.

The outcome of the decision left Atletico unable to register new players until January, and Griezmann says he felt that he "had to stay" at the Estadio La Peineta.

He told FourFourTwo: "I have stayed mainly because of the transfer ban. Atletico needed me now more than ever and I felt I had to stay. It would be dirty to leave. I wouldn't have been myself, or the person that I feel I am today, if I had left this club in that way.

"I spoke to Diego Simeone about the situation, our options and how he wanted me to stay to work out what we could do. Then we finalised everything with Miguel Angel Gil. I have too much respect for this club and the people in it to leave now because, just like Real Sociedad, they've given me everything."

When asked about his future, namely the reported interest from Manchester United, Griezmann replied: "To be honest, I don't know. I'm going to be playing for Atletico next season and after that we'll see. All I am thinking about now is Atletico Madrid. It's absurd to talk about something that is more than a year away."

Griezmann has scored 83 goals and registered 25 assists in 160 games for Atletico since his switch from Sociedad in 2014.

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Diego Simeone the coach of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates towards his supporters after winning the La Liga after the match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on May 17, 2014
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