Antoine Griezmann has committed himself to Atletico Madrid until 2022.
The French superstar has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for some time, with Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils well and truly in the mix to sign him.
But now, Griezmann, who said last week that leaving Atletico would be a “dirty move” given the club’s current transfer ban status – has shown the La Liga club his true loyalty.
Here, we look at five key reasons why he is staying in the Spanish capital.
THE DIEGO SIMEONE FACTOR
The decision of the Argentine touchline warrior to stay on next season undoubtedly played a huge part in Griezmann’s decision to stay put too.
What Simeone has achieved with the Red and Whites is well documented (and astonishing) and speculation was rife he would depart at the end of last season.
However, with the 47-year-old at the helm to lead the club into a new era at the brand-new Estadio Olimpico de Madrid stadium, Griezmann knows he has the chance to make more history with the club as no doubt they will again contest silverware on both the domestic and European front.
A SENSE OF LOYALTY
The Frenchman is very much settled in Spain, and for that matter, Madrid, with a young family.
Given Atleti are banned from registering any new players in the summer transfer window after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a suspension imposed by FIFA for multiple breaches of global football’s rules on the registration of under-18s, the striker was reluctant to leave the club in the lurch.
As they say, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and at Atletico, the fact he is loved by the club’s supporters and is their main man on the pitch is something he won’t get at another club straight away.
HE IS STILL ONLY 26
Contracts don’t mean what they once did in football and Griezmann still has plenty of years left on the clock to make a move elsewhere in the coming seasons.
Given the loyalty he has now shown to Atleti, it’s unlikely he’d ever join another La Liga side which means only a handful of teams in the Premier League and Paris Saint-Germain could afford him.
Indeed, it would take a world record fee to breach his release clause of 100 million euros (£87million) – if he is to be prized away from the Community of Madrid club in the future.
STAYING AT ATLETI IS NOT A BACKWARDS STEP
Whilst he may have looked at neighbours Real with a touch of jealously last season, seeing Los Blancos march to La Liga and Champions League-winning success, the truth is Atleti were still up there and challenging.
There’s no reason why they won’t be there or thereabouts next season, but the key for Atleti will be settling into their new home quickly – it will of course be very different from the Vicente Calderon.
Griezmann Hates Real Madrid This Much! 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/gUeB14Ju1T— Lerato (@AndImLee) June 12, 2017
HE GETS A GOOD DEAL
He is undoubtedly one of the world’s best players – and for Atletico – has scored 83 goals in 160 appearances.
So, as such, he deserves new lucrative financial terms.
Griezmann will reportedly earn £12.3million a season and pick up £235,000 a week – not a bad deal for the former Real Sociedad man!