Diego Simeone has called on Atletico Madrid's fans to keep supporting Antoine Griezmann amid angry reactions to rumours over a transfer to Barcelona.
The Argentine was quoted by Goal as he urged his club's supporters to stop the booing that drew a furious reaction from the striker at the end of the slender 1-0 La Liga victory over Valencia on February 4th.
Atleti fans jeered the France international as he slowed the play down to run down the clock at Wanda Metropolitano nearly a fortnight ago, and Griezmann showed his displeasure at those jibes in the aftermath of the game.
Griezmann has been touted as a future Barcelona star as reports over his future in the Spanish capital refuse to go away, and Simeone stated that it was in Atletico fans' best interests to keep faith with the 26-year-old and his side.
Simeone said: "I know him because I'm with him every day. He's a fantastic boy, always enthusiastic, happy, humble, with a huge heart.
"If I were an Atletico fan, I would do everything possible not to lose Griezmann."
Griezmann had been linked with a summer switch to the Premier League with Manchester United but, after the Red Devils cooled their interest in him, the forward put pen to paper on fresh terms to keep him at his current club.
Don't forget that Antoine Griezmann is coming to Barcelona this summer.— ser j. (@__Johnko) February 16, 2018
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The ex-Real Sociedad starlet has scored 13 times in 30 appearances for Atletico this term - including three in his last four - to help Simeone's men put some form of pressure on league leaders Barca.
However, talk of whether he will stay with Los Rojiblancos past this summer continues to dominate the headlines, and La Blaugrana have apparently earmarked Griezmann as their top target in the close season.
Barcelona are reportedly considering selling last summer's big-money acquisition Ousmane Dembele to make room for Griezmann in their team, although megastar Lionel Messi is said to be attempting the Catalan giants from securing Griezmann's signature for reasons unknown.