Diego Simeone has confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.
The Atleti boss had managed to keep the Frenchman, 26, at the Wanda Metropolitano for one more term after the club were handed a transfer ban.
Griezmann looked destined to head to Manchester United at the time, with the striker declaring he there was a 60 per cent chance of him going.
But as the ban kicked in, he admitted he would stay in the Spanish capital.
Now Simeone has paved the way for Griezmann to leave the club, with quotes in French paper l’Equipe.
He said: “Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way (Diego) Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.
“I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow. I am not ungrateful.
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“If a player comes to me and says: ‘coach, I have a once in a lifetime chance to play for a certain team, I want to leave’.
“If he did all he could for me as Griezmann does, I’ll say it’s no problem. I know that he needs to grow.
“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.”
Reports surfaced recently that instead of joining Manchester United, Griezmann could switch to La Liga giants Barcelona.
Despite Jose Mourinho wanting to sign the forward last summer – and a deal coming close – the Frenchman appears to have had a change of heart.
The Catalan giants are still in the market for a big-money forward to replace Neymar and have plenty of cash to burn.