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Atletico Madrid would rather lose Griezmann than Simeone, says club CEO Gil Marin

10:02 AM GMT 29/12/2017
Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid
The Colchoneros chief insists the Argentine manager's future is much more important to them than that of any player

Atletico Madrid would suffer more from losing head coach Diego Simeone than star forward Antoine Griezmann, according to CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

Barcelona and Manchester United are again being linked with a bid for Griezmann, 26, who decided against leaving Atletico before the start of the season after the club were hit with a transfer ban by FIFA.

Gil Marin has made it clear they will not negotiate the sale of the France international until at least the end of the season and the club have already reported Barca to world football's governing body over what they consider to be an illegal approach for the player.

However, the chief executive believes the future of Simeone – who is under contract at the Wanda Metropolitano until 2020 – is more important than that of any player.

"There's absolutely no doubt that losing Simeone would be a much bigger blow to Atletico than losing Antoine Griezmann," he told Onda Cero.

"Simeone represents the club in his values, his work, his style of play. He represents a football team and no single player represents a team."

Gil Marin also insisted Atleti were not asking FIFA to punish Barca for their Griezmann pursuit, but simply want to be shown "respect" by their La Liga rivals, especially in light of director Guillermo Amor saying that club president Josep Maria Bartomeu may have already met with the forward's family.

"Our relations with Barca are very good but, when someone does something they shouldn't, we have to defend ourselves," he said.

"Beyond the comments from Guillermo Amor, I've spoken with the Barca executives, I've spoken with the agents and with Griezmann's family. It's obvious there has been contact.

"We're not looking for a sanction against Barca. We're just looking for respect."