Simeone cannot imagine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone says he cannot imagine Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid.
There was renewed speculation over Griezmann's future during the international break, the France forward having been strongly linked with Barcelona last year.
Griezmann instead announced his intention to stay with Atletico in a specially produced television documentary and this week he declared himself "fed up" with the transfer speculation.
Lucas Hernandez has been sold to Bayern Munich but Simeone does not think Griezmann will follow his fellow World Cup winner out of the club.
"Honestly, I am not worried about the Griezmann issue," Simeone told reporters ahead of Saturday's LaLiga trip to Deportivo Alaves.
"He is a captain of Atletico 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.
"If I imagine the next season without Griezmann? No, I cannot 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. That's all I see around Griezmann."
| PRESS CONFERENCE— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 29, 2019
@Simeone is answering the journalists' questions on #AlavésAtleti: "We're going to face a very tough side that are completing a fantastic season."#AúpaAtletipic.twitter.com/px7dsGGRx1
Bayern's move for defender Lucas was confirmed this week after the Bundesliga giants triggered his €80million release clause, but Simeone is not bitter about the player's departure.
"First, always a thank you to all the work that Lucas did in all these years, which were not many, but at the same time it was intense," Simeone said.
"He gave us a lot as a footballer, we love him very much as a kid, the club made a great effort to try to keep him and he made the decision to change teams. And always wish him the best for his future."
Atletico are 10 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona ahead of next weekend's clash between the two sides at Camp Nou but Simeone still believes his side can bridge the gap.
"Until there are possibilities, I am exaggeratedly optimistic," he added. "In a week many things can happen in football, but obviously, we have to encourage that possibility is generated."