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Simeone: “Griezmann can leave if he wants”

French magazine L’Equipe are currently offering readers the chance to read an exclusive interview with Atleti manager Diego Simeone. In three separate sections of the interview, the Argentine discusses life as a manager, his time as manager of the club and also his players. In the second part of the interview, Simeone discusses the rumours surrounding striker, Antoine Griezmann leaving the Wanda Metropolitano.

As the January transfer window approaches, reports of the Frenchman moving to pastures new have continued to be released. Current La Liga leaders FC Barcelona and English side Manchester United have both been mentioned as potential suitors for Griezmann. During the summer window, news of the 26 year old coming close to moving to Old Trafford circulated, however he opted against a move due to the transfer ban Los Colchoneros were given.

It was reported that Griezmann felt he couldn’t leave the club at a time when they were unable to replace him. However when the new year arrives, Diego Costa will officially be permitted to play again in the red and white stripes. With a realistic chance of grabbing a European trophy in the Europa League, as well as maintaining an unbeaten record in the league, it would be surprising if Simeone was to allow a deal for Griezmann’s departure to go through. He tells the magazine that if a “once in a lifetime” offer came in for the forward however, he wouldn’t stand in the way.

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“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,” Simeone says.

“I know that he needs to grow. Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.”

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