It’s safe to say that Antoine Griezmann’s future doesn’t involve Atletico Madrid.
A change of heart due to Los Rojiblancos’ FIFA-imposed transfer ban bought the 2014 La Liga winners time, keeping him at the club after turning down an offer from Manchester United in the summer, but his performances thus far have done little to suggest he intends on staying long-term.
The Frenchman’s dismal form leaves him without a goal in his last eight appearances for Atletico Madrid, totalling 723 minutes worth of impotency, his worst run since joining the club three years ago.
Perhaps it’s not even his goalscoring that truly worries Atleti fans – it’s his nonchalant body language on the pitch, a sign of frustration from a player whose supply line is so often restricted due to Atletico Madrid’s approach.
He was even booed and jeered off the pitch by Atletico Madrid fans during the derby against Real Madrid, something which will do nothing to help the situation.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has sworn to stand by his misfiring striker so long as he stays at the club, but how long will that be?
According to Antoine Griezmann, it will be until at least the end of the season, ruling out the possibility of leaving in January.
“No (in response to wanting to leave). In addition, Diego Costa and Vitolo will come, so we’ll try to keep the team high enough. These two reinforcements will do us good. An exit agreement? I did not speak about that with the president,” Griezmann told French program Telefoot.
Indeed, the arrivals of Diego Costa and Vitolo will serve as a much-needed boost in Atletico’s attacking ranks, and one which has the potential to help turn Antoine Griezmann’s indifferent form around.
It’s easy to forget about the former, a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, where he finished as club top-scorer in all three of his seasons in England.
Meanwhile, former Sevilla man Vitolo has quietly gone about his business with rock bottom Las Palmas, scoring once in eight appearances.
However, would their introductions be enough to keep Antoine Griezmann away from temptingly lucrative mega-moves to the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona?
In the short-term? Yes. Not only has he squashed those rumours but the player has a ridiculous €200 million buy-out clause if a club was to move for him in January.
In the long-term? Probably not. His release clause will drop to €100 million in the summer, a fee which no longer sounds preposterous for Europe’s elite clubs after Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Unfortunately for Atleti fans, whether it be Manchester United, Barcelona or, who knows, Paris Saint-Germain, Antoine Griezmann’s future is mutually exclusive with Atletico Madrid.