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Simeone confident Griezmann won’t be joining Barcelona

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Diego Simeone doesn’t expect “captain” Antoine Griezmann to swap Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

Despite turning down a move to Camp Nou last year through a bizarre documentary, Griezmann has once again been linked to Barcelona.

Spanish media have claimed that Atletico’s Champions League last-16 exit to Juventus proved to be a turning point for Griezmann. He’s since allegedly been carefully reconsidering his future at the Wanda Metropolitano.

But Los Colchoneros boss Simeone is relaxed over his star forward’s state of mind.

“Since the subject of Griezmann going to Barcelona started to pop up in the media, I always said that I think he’s okay, he’s cool and happy with his team-mates,” said Simeone, according to Fox Sports.

“He’s the captain of our team and we always give him the affection and importance he deserves, but of course we’re not inside his head to know his opinion.

“If he has something to say he will one day. We think he will stay with us. I’m not afraid of losing him. He’s our captain and whatever happens from now on doesn’t depend on us.”

Following a shock 3-0 defeat at RCD Espanyol last weekend, Atletico will play host to Sevilla needing a point to confirm their runners-up spot in La Liga for this season.

As things stand, Simeone’s side hold a six-point lead over city rivals Real Madrid ahead of the final two games.

But the Argentine coach has already got his sights on going one better next season without investing heavily in the upcoming transfer window.

“Knowing myself as I do, I can tell you we will be really motivated for next season,” said Simeone.

“It will be hard as every season [is] and because of the changes we will have in the team.

“I can tell you the new players will come here with enthusiasm and energy, willing to improve here, and that’s what we are here for.

“Griezmann, [Jan] Oblak, [Jose] Gimenez, [Diego] Godin, Gabi, every player that came here had a profile as player and have evolved here until become what they are now.

“I always say we’re not signing players for €150million, €120m or €100m – we have to build our players, [Thomas] Lemar has been the most expensive player in Atletico Madrid history and it’s true this season was hard for him, but I have no doubt next season he will be amazing, and that’s our way to do things.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 04: Antoine Griezmann of Club Atletico de Madrid in action during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Club Atletico de Madrid at RCDE Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)