Atletico Madrid star given permission to leave by Diego Simeone

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid saves on a header during the La Liga match between Club Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on December 2, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid saves on a header during the La Liga match between Club Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on December 2, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Antoine Griezmann has been told he can leave by Diego Simeone with multiple clubs after his signature.

According to the Daily Express, Simeone stated in a recent interview that he would be happy to let Griezmann go if it was a dream move for the player. This gives credence to the rumours that are swirling around the Atlético Madrid star. He was close to moving in the summer, but Atlético’s transfer ban stopped that from happening. Their inability to buy a replacement meant that he decided to stay.

The transfer ban has ended so they can officially bring in Diego Costa and Vitolo in the January transfer window. They can also bring in other squad reinforcements as well which the team desperately needs. Griezmann’s lack of form in parts of this season showed how much they relied on him; the club’s form significantly dipped during that period.

Simeone didn’t specify when he was willing to let Griezmann leave, but it would be a surprise if they let him leave in January. Him and Costa could form a deadly combination for the second half of the season. Atlético are one of the favourites for the Europa League and could realistically challenge for second place in the league.

Who will he join?

Barcelona and Manchester United are the favourites for his signature. He was close to joining José Mourinho in the summer, but the transfer ban terminated that. This delay has allowed Barça to take the lead according to reports. The contract he signed in the summer means that his price has increased to over £100 million.

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Luis Suárez’s dip in form has added to the need for another top forward because the club had already started to restructure the team after Neymar’s departure in the summer. Griezmann is the kind of player who could thrive with Lionel Messi due to his intelligence on and off the ball. Combine this with the creativity of Ousmane Dembélé and the immediate future is promising for the club.

United have space in the team for the French star because they don’t really have someone who can play off the striker. Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are their two playmakers, but neither is favoured, so Mourinho could alter the setup to fit Griezmann. Although it would probably mean that Paul Pogba has to play deeper.

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Griezmann is likely to favour Barcelona because he doesn’t have to change country and they are the bigger club. There is also United’s negative style under Mourinho to consider which is unlikely to entice him. Regardless, neither team is desperate for him, so it’s likely that this move won’t happen until the summer.