Antoine Griezmann spoke to English magazine Four Four Two about his rumoured move to Manchester United earlier this summer, and the circumstances that led to him renewing his contract at Atlético Madrid.
The Frenchman has scored 60 goals in 111 matches for los Rojiblancos, since moving south from Real Sociedad in 2014.
Griezmann denies calling Mourinho
Griezmann strongly denied that he called Jose Mourinho to inform the Portuguese that he intended to stay at Atlético:
“No, no, no. No, that’s totally made up. False. It was my decision. I communicated it to the club. That’s it.”
He also stated that the Court of Arbitration for Sport's [CAS] decision to uphold Atlético's transfer ban was key to his decision to stay put.
“I have stayed mainly because of the transfer ban. Atlético needed me now more than ever and I felt I had to stay. It would be dirty to leave. I wouldn’t have been myself, or the person that I feel I am today, if I had left this club in that way."
Coy on Atlético future
The striker explained how his new deal in Madrid came about:
“I spoke to Diego Simeone about the situation, our options and how he wanted me to stay to work out what we could do. Then we finalised everything with [chief executive] Miguel Angel Gil. I have too much respect for this club and the people in it to leave now because, just like Real Sociedad, they’ve given me everything.”
Yet, despite his obvious gratitude to Atlético Madrid, Griezmann did not give any assurances that he will stay at the club beyond 2018:
“To be honest, I don’t know. I’m going to be playing for Atlético next season and after that we’ll see. All I am thinking about now is Atlético Madrid. I think it’s absurd to talk about something that is more than a year away.”