Diego Simeone says Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave Atletico Madrid

By Mutala Yakubu
Diego Simeone says he wants to see his players 'grow'

Diego Simeone has confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave Atletico Madrid.

The 26-year-old is reported to be a target for a number of Europe's largest clubs, with Manchester United linked with a move for the France international last summer.

Griezmann is expected to remain at Atletico for the remainder of the season, but it appears he has been given the all clear by Simeone to leave the club in the future.

"Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave," Simeone told l'Equipe.

"I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow. I am not ungrateful.

"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. I know that he needs to grow."

Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid in the New Year, but that the club are preparing for life without him and says Barcelona and Manchester United are leading the race for his signature.

"Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid want him," said Balague.

"I don't think he has agreed anything with any club yet. Atletico have spoken to Barcelona about Griezmann but, again, nothing has been agreed.

"The destination will be decided by Griezmann and Griezmann alone. He is open to all of those possibilities.

"At this moment in time, I feel Manchester United are Barcelona are ahead of the other suitors."