Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is “not surprised” that reported Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann has plenty of suitors and says he will not stand in the France international’s way if he wishes to move on.
Sources said in the summer that Jose Mourinho was keen on Griezmann and the rumours have persisted, with The Independent reporting this week that negotiations for the 25-year-old’s move to Old Trafford this summer are at “an advanced stage,” with United prepared to pay his €100 million buyout clause.
When asked about those reports, Simeone said: “I don’t tie anybody down. I simply work in order to continue getting better for the good of the club.
“He [Griezmann] is in an extraordinary moment, he is working well, he has got back on the scoresheet. He is currently in great form and it’s normal that the top clubs in the world want him.
“I’m not surprised that those that can afford him are seeking him.”
Griezmann has previously suggested he would be open to a move to Old Trafford, saying in November that he is keen to play with Paul Pogba at club level in the future and that he had asked his France teammate about United.
His agent has previously said the forward, who is under contract with Atletico until June 2021, rejected an offer from Paris Saint-Germain in July.
A recent study by the CIES Football Observatory ranked Griezmann as the fourth most expensive player in the world, giving the former Real Sociedad star a market value of €150.4 million.
Griezmann finished third in the Ballon d’Or and FIFA The Best voting, behind Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, after an impressive 2015-16 campaign.
He scored 32 goals in 54 competitive club appearances last season as Atletico finished third in La Liga and runners-up in the Champions League.
Griezmann was the top scorer with six goals at Euro 2016, where hosts France ended runners-up to Portugal.
The Frenchman, in his third season at Atletico, scored his 12th goal of the campaign in his team’s 3-2 defeat to Las Palmas in the Copa del Rey round-of-16 return leg on Jan. 10.
Griezmann has set up six more goals in 25 starts for Atletico this season.
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