Antoine Griezmann’s first major trophy with Atletico Madrid may well prove to be his last if they can overcome Marseille in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Griezmann’s future has dominated the build-up to this week’s showpiece match in Lyon, with the striker widely expected to join Barcelona in the summer.
A string of Atletico players were quizzed at a club ‘Media Day’ last week and even if coach Diego Simeone insisted his focus was like that of a racehorse – “head forward, I don’t see or hear anything but the final” – it is impossible to ignore the noise surrounding the Frenchman.
Luis Suarez had stirred the pot by speaking about Griezmann as though a deal with Barca was already completed, which prompted an angry response from Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.
“We’re fed up with Barcelona’s attitude,” he said in a statement.
“How a president, player and board member speak the way they have done about the future of a player with an existing contract and just a few days before disputing a European final, is an absolute lack of respect towards Atletico.”
Griezmann has certainly not dampened the speculation, saying only that he wants his future resolved before the start of the World Cup, while last week even Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo was hardly reassuring when he said: “Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player, as of today.”
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