Diego Simeone opens up on talk of Antoine Griezmann returning to Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has addressed transfer links with former frontman Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann has been heavily linked with a move to Atletico Madrid as part of a swap deal with Barcelona that would see Saúl Ñiguez go the other way.

The most recent reports suggest the deal is off with Atleti, who are dangerously close to their own La Liga wage cup, unable to fit the bill for Griezmann’s salary.

But as the back and forth of the transfer rumour mill continues, Atleti boss Simeone has spoken out about the issue, pointing out his excellent relationship with Griezmann while all-but admitting there have been talks over a possible return for the Frenchman.

He told Marca: “I have a very good relationship, a very beautiful relationship beyond sport, my kids play with his kids.

“Above all, for what he gave Atletico, I want him to do well at Barcelona, he is an extraordinary player.

“I hope that he can consolidate the player he has been at the Euros, in the World Cup, in the five years with us.

“I don’t wish for anything else but him triumphing at Barcelona.”

Asked about the club’s needs in this transfer window, Simeone added: “We speak with the club, there are positions to improve in the team – we need a striker.

“Another will come if Griezmann does not. The club will decide what is economically best for the club.”

The latest reports suggest Atleti will need to offload a big earner like Saúl if they do want to strengthen further this summer, having already snapped up Rodrigo de Paul.

Though, it seems the swap deal with Barcelona is becoming more unlikely by the day.

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