Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has revealed his hopes that former Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann will be able to play together for an extended period, in response to the transfer rumours surrounding the latter.
Come the turn of the year, Costa will finally be able to make his return to the Atletico side following his controversial summer move from Chelsea, where the Spain international has been forced to miss the entire campaign so far due to Atletico’s transfer ban.
With his side’s transfer ban set to be overturned as we enter the New Year, Simeone has revealed that he is relishing the prospect of a Costa-Griezmann partnership.
Reported by Spanish publication Marca, Simeone stated: "We have worked hard to bring Griezmann and Costa and hopefully we keep him for a period."
Griezmann came incredibly close to leaving Atletico back in June, where it seemed destined that he would be coming to the Premier League with Manchester United.
However, once Atletico were handed their transfer ban imminently halting them from signing anyone before 2018, the Frenchman deemed it a “dirty move” to leave the club without allowing them to bring in a viable replacement.
Now the ban has been served, rumours have again been circulating regarding Griezmann’s possible departure, with Barcelona reportedly favourites to pay the 26-year-old’s £88.4m release clause, despite the striker’s underwhelming form in the first half of this campaign, where he has only been able to register five goals.
Simeone has revealed that he was unsure whether Griezmann was currently in negotiations with other clubs, where he was speaking following Atletico’s 3-2 friendly victory against Al Ahly, which saw Kevin Gameiro secure all three goals.
"He always creates chances and hopefully this will give him confidence especially now that he has more competition," said Simeone. "It was a complete performance from us in both halves."