Simeone urges in-form Griezmann to ignore transfer talk


Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone urged Antoine Griezmann to ignore speculation surrounding his future and stay focused after he continued his superb season in front of goal with a double against Las Palmas.

Following Filipe Luis' 17th-minute opener, Griezmann ensured a 3-0 win for La Liga leaders Atletico at Estadio Gran Canaria on Sunday with a second-half brace.

The France winger now has 18 goals in all competitions this season and his form has unsurprisingly led the 24-year-old to be linked with a host of clubs across Europe, including Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

City rivals Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest, although such a move would appear unlikely at present due to the transfer bans handed to Real and Atletico earlier this week.

"Antoine's been very consistent from December up until today," Simeone said. "Everyone's speaking highly of him. 

"I'm not going to put him in a situation where he's among the best players; I only ask him not to listen to what's being said on the outside, to look to himself and to continue growing. 

"He's young and he has to work, even though he has talent, he still needs to work. With time, it will all come naturally.

"He is scoring with great regularity and can still grow a lot."

Simeone is also confident his team can handle the pressure of being league leaders and insists their focus is on Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final tie against Celta Vigo. 

"I can understand the anxiety that people have regarding the expectations on the team," he added. "We won't be straying from the path we're on; we're focusing on Celta. 

"Las Palmas played well during the opening minutes and they had a handful of chances that were dealt with by [goalkeeper Jan] Oblak.

"After Filipe's goal, we started to grow. 

"Our message is; relax and let's not look any further than the Celta game."