Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has been talking about Antoine Griezmann amid speculation the forward could return to his former club from Barcelona.
The Catalan giants need to slash the wage bill before the start of the season which means Griezmann could go after two seasons at the Camp Nou.
Simeone says he wants Griezmann to succeed at Barcelona but is not ruling out the possibility of the Frenchman heading back to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
“I have a very good relationship, a very beautiful relationship beyond sport, my kids play with his kids. Above all, for what he gave Atletico, I want him to do well at Barcelona, he is an extraordinary player.
“I hope that he can consolidate the player he has been at the Euros, in the World Cup, in the five years with us. I don’t wish for anything else but him triumphing at Barcelona.
“We speak with the club, there are positions to improve in the team – we need a striker. Another will come if Griezmann does not. The club will decide what is economically best for the club.”
The Atletico boss also spoke about Saul Niguez’s future. There has been speculation the midfielder could be used as part of a swap deal involving Griezmann, although those rumors have quietened down in the last few days.
Simeone says the 26-year-old has discussed his future with the club and admitted he could depart in the summer.
‘Last season he spoke with the club, with us about his needs and what he spoke about the option of having a place on the field where he feels more important,” he said. “And I consider that Saul became Saul by playing everywhere, he or many of those around him see it as something negative.
‘He is very important for Atlético because he can play as a full-back, right wing, midfielder, as a double middle. He gives us a lot of situations to be able to count on him. He is a player who in that version and playing what the coach needs, performs very well.
“We cannot put aside what is rumored and talked about. If he has to go out, a big hug, wish him the best with the boys who gave us life and to continue being friends, as always. Either to Barcelona or elsewhere.”
Source | AS
The latest rumors have suggested Barca have pulled the plug on a Griezmann-Saul swap, although Premier League clubs reportedly remain keen on the Atletico midfielder.