Simeone: Antoine Griezmann can leave!

Atletico Madrid will let Antoine Griezmann leave if the right opportunity comes along, according to coach Diego Simeone. Griezmann signed a one-year contract extension with Atletico until 2022 after snubbing a potential move away from the Spanish capital this summer, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all linked with the 26-year-old France international.

The Euro 2016 Golden Boot winner was aware of interest from United in particular – where close friend Paul Pogba plays – but Atletico’s transfer ban until January 2018 made any key departures unlikely.

However, Simeone said he would not stand in the way of any of his players if they wanted to leave to develop their careers, which could open the door for Griezmann to leave either in January or next summer – especially with Atletico exiting the Champions League at the group stages.

“Of course he can leave at some point, like Diego Costa and Arda Turan did in their day,” Simeone told L’Equipe.

“I love watching my players grow, and if one of them tells me that they have the unique opportunity of playing for a certain team, after they did everything they could for me, like Griezmann has done, I’ll say it’s not a problem.

 “I know that he needs to grow.”