Manchester United have been put on alert after Diego Simeone admitted France striker Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave Atletico Madrid.
Reports in continental Europe have suggested manager Jose Mourinho will attempt to beef up his Old Trafford strikeforce with a move for the France international, and Simeone has revealed for the first time he will not stand in the 26-year-old’s way.
Hot property Griezmann has scored 65 goals in 123 senior appearances for Los Rojiblancos and is contracted to the La Liga giants until 2022. He came close to joining the Premier League giants in the summer but felt obliged to commit to Simeone because of a transfer ban, to be lifted in January, imposed on El Atleti. Simeone said he will be powerless to prevent the fans’ favourite from leaving Estadio Wanda Metropolitano if he makes it clear he wants to leave – in the same way Diego Costa and Arda Turan were granted wishes to move on. “I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow.
I am not ungrateful,” he told 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. “Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.” Griezmann has scored five goals in La Liga so far this season and has hit double figures in each of his three previous campaigns since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014.
Atletico Madrid take on Alaves in the Spanish top flight on Saturday and are quoted 1.22 in the 90-minutes betting. The draw outcome is currently priced 6.00, with the visitors on offer at 17.00. Griezmann can be backed at 1.60 in the anytime scorer market.