April 18, 2018 / 5:37 PM / 10 months ago

Simeone hopeful of keeping Griezmann at Atletico

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - April 8, 2018 Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann reacts REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is still hopeful of keeping striker Antoine Griezmann at the club next season.

The French forward has a 100 million euro ($124 million)release fee clause in his contract and told French media he wants his future to be decided before the World Cup amid reports in Spain that he will move to Barcelona.

“We want the best for Griezmann,” Simeone told a news conference on Wednesday. “I hope we can make him see that this team will keep growing, the greatest thing for a player is to see that things are growing, and it’s real, not just words.

“We’re fighting with Barcelona (for the Spanish title), we have the chance of reaching the Europa League final, good things have happened every year,” Simeone added.

“We have to give him everything so that he feels inclined to keep improving here, when he must decide (his future).”

Atletico are second in the table, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona, and face Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals.

Griezmann 27, has become a key player for Atletico after joining from Real Sociedad in 2014 and will spearhead the France attack at the World Cup in Russia.

Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond

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