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Atletico Madrid determined to keep France star Griezmann

SoccerNews in La Liga 28 Dec 2017

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Atletico Madrid will fight to keep Antoine Griezmann at the club in the face of interest from Barcelona, says chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

Atleti reported Barcelona to FIFA last week over their alleged pursuit of the France star after Camp Nou director Guillermo Amor said it was possible Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu “had a meeting with Griezmann’s family”.

The 26-year-old forward was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United before the start of this season but opted to stay with Atletico.

Head coach Diego Simeone recently stoked speculation by saying he would not stand in Griezmann’s way, should he desire a new challenge, but Gil Marin sounded a more combative tone in an interview with Mega.

“Atletico doesn’t want to sell Griezmann either now or in the summer,” he said.

“For us he is a very important player, who has grown a lot and we have grown up with him.

“Our intention is to keep growing all together.

“Last summer we made an effort beyond the possibilities of the club and we’ll do it again next summer.

“Griezmann departure isn’t in our hands, but until summer is impossible to leave us.”

Atletico will be able to pair Diego Costa with Griezmann in attack in the new year, when their FIFA player registration ban is lifted.

Gil Marin conceded putting together that all-star forward line has been no easy task, making him keen to renegotiate Griezmann’s contract, which runs until 2022 and contains a release clause of €200m until July next year, according to the CEO.

“It’s been hard for us to get Griezmann and Diego Costa together and I think it’s going to be very good for Atletico,” Gil Marin added.

“Until July 1, Griezmann’s release clause is €200m.”

Atletico lie second in LaLiga but defeat to Espanyol in the final game before the mid-season break means they are now nine points behind Barca at the summit.

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