Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone on Friday expressed his gratitude to French forward Antoine Griezmann for his spell at the Spanish team.
The decision Griezmann announced on Tuesday to leave Atletico at the end of the season marked the press conference Simeone held on the eve of Saturday’s La Liga last game against Levante.
Simeone also suggested that Filipe Luis, whose contract expires by the end of the season, is also set to leave the Spanish club.
“First, I am grateful. About Griezmann, I only have word of gratitude for the level he has provided us, for how he improved as a player and a person, I love him so much,” the coach said.
“And I have learned in life that at least from my position I do not judge the decision taken by others and that I should give it all without waiting anything. When someone has given it all, as we have given the club and Antoine, we are calm,” he added.
“From the sporting perspective, he has been a very important player over this time, one of Atletico top scorers across its history. Five marvelous years. And I am grateful. I am sincerely grateful, because he has given us his best and I do not judge at all,” he added.
Griezmann announced that he would pay the buyout clause, which is to be reduced from 200 million euros ($223.39 million) to 125 million euros on July 1.
The forward, who was part of French squad that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has reportedly been on the radar of several European powerhouses, such as Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, and Barcelona.
The English club, however, has no intention of being involved in the race of signing the Frenchman, according to City’s coach Pep Guardiola.
“For the people from Barcelona, don't worry guys, Man City are not going to buy Antoine Griezmann. We can't afford him. We're not interested in Griezmann,” Guardiola said at a press conference ahead of the FA Cup final against Watford.
The Catalan option seems to be the most likely, as Paris Saint Germain German coach Thomas Tuchel said during a press conference held on Friday that signing the Frenchman “at this moment is not realistic”. EFE