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Simeone: I can’t imagine Atletico without Griezmann

1:48 AM MYT 30/03/2019
Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid
With the France star's central role at the club combined with his contract through 2023, the head coach doesn't foresee an exit this summer

Diego Simeone says he cannot imagine a scenario where Antoine Griezmann leaves Atletico Madrid next season, saying he is not worried about rumours linking the star man to an exit.

Griezmann’s future was the subject of much speculation last year, with links to Barcelona swirling in the second half of the season.

The France international ultimately decided to reject overtures from the La Liga champions, revealing his choice in a documentary called "La Decision."

However, despite signing a new contract to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano through the summer of 2023, Griezmann has again been linked with a move away from Atletico this summer.

Griezmann himself has voiced frustration over the rumours, noting he deals with it “every year” and now his coach Simeone has added his voice to those who think the star forward is going to remain with the capital club.

"Honestly, I am not worried about the Griezmann issue," Simeone told media ahead of the club's match against Deportivo Alaves. "He is a captain of Atletico de Madrid. He has always responded with football, with facts, what he wants.

"Now we have an important game in which he will have to answer."

Simeone continued, saying it was impossible for him to think of an Atletico next year without Griezmann and noting the star man has never given him any reason to doubt his commitment to the club.

"If I imagine the next season without Griezmann? No, I can not imagine the next season without him because he has a contract with the club, he is one of the captains of Atletico, he gave everything since he arrived and I imagine tomorrow he will have a great match,” Simeone said.

“Everything I imagine is around Griezmann."

Atletico return from the international break looking to snap a two-match losing streak.

A 3-0 defeat in Turin after a hat-trick by old foe Cristiano Ronaldo saw them bounced from the Champions League in the round of 16.

The following Saturday a 2-0 road setback against Athletic Bilbao saw Simeone’s men fall 10 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race, though they remain second in the table, two points ahead of rivals Real Madrid.