Atletico Madrid captain Gabi has called on Antoine Griezmann to continue giving his best for the club in their remaining games this season
Griezmann has been strongly linked with a departure from Atletico to Barcelona this summer and was reportedly on the verge of completing a move to Manchester United last summer, before ultimately deciding to stay another season at Atletico.
Griezmann had a man of the match performance for Atletico in their 3-0 win over Celta Vigo over the weekend, by scoring the opening goal and assisting Vitolo for the second goal.
The Frenchman’s release clause will be reduced from €200m to €100m in the summer and it is expected that their will be many bids from rival clubs this summer.
Gabi, who has accepted that the 26 year-old may leave in the summer, has called on his teammate to continue with his excellent form till the end of the season.
“All I ask of him is that as long as he is with us he keeps playing for his life. I just ask Griezmann that as long as he is here he defends this shirt like it deserves to be defended.” said Gabi, according to Sky Sports.
“I understand that not every player here has Atletico in their hearts and can change club and there’s no need to criticise nor crucify them for that.”
Griezmann had struggled for form at the beginning of the season, amid interest from rival clubs. But the French international has rediscovered his form and Gabi was full of praise for his teammate.
“Antoine is a special player for everyone, he’s very much loved in the dressing room,” said the Spaniard.
“He has a superior level of skill to the rest of the team and that’s why he makes the difference. At the start of the season a lot was said about him, of the interest from Barcelona and other teams, which could have made him confused.”
“I’ve always tried to be close to him because he is a very important player for us,” added Gabi.
“All I ask of him is that as long as he is with us he keeps playing for his life as he is doing at the moment and tries to make the difference, because he is one of the few players in the team that can do that.”
Griezmann has scored 11 goals with 4 assists in his past 10 matches, as Atletico sit in second place in La Liga with a eight point gap to league leaders Barcelona.