Barcelona Target Antoine Griezmann Coy on Future After 2-Goal Europa League Final Performance

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Antoine Griezmann refused to be drawn on his Atletico Madrid future after a brilliant two-goal performace put the Spanish side on their way to winning the Europa League final on Wednesday evening.

Griezmann capitalised on a Marseille error to side-foot coolly past Steve Mandanda in the first half, before a delightful finish in which he lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to double the lead after half time.

Captain Gabi added a third before the end as Griezmann won the first major honour of his career, but the win was marred by the worry that it could be the Frenchman’s final game in Atleti colours.

He has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish champions Barcelona, with a switch for €100m seemingly imminent. However, the French forward did not add any clarity about his future when asked after the game.

“I think now is not the moment to talk about my future,” said Griezmann, quoted by Sky Sports News. “I just want to enjoy myself after my performance, after winning a trophy and I want to celebrate with the fans.

“[Diego] Simeone has taught me a lot, he made me become a better player and I hope I can keep improving every year, in every game. I owe a lot to Simeone and my team-mates.”

After months of speculation, Barcelona are reportedly set to activate the £88m release clause in Griezmann’s contract, bringing to an end his four-year stint in the Spanish capital.

The man who finished third in the 2016 Ballon d’Or voting has been Atletico’s leading scorer in every season he has been at the club since joining from Real Sociedad for £23.7m in 2014.

Manager Diego Simeone said that he would be grateful to Griezmann whatever decision the Frenchman makes.

“Whatever he decides I’ll be happy because he has given us his life,” said the Argentine. “If he stays I’ll be delighted and if he leaves I’ll be grateful for everything he’s done for us.”

Griezmann could sign off in style this weekend as Atletico host Eibar in their final league match of the season, needing just a point to finish ahead of Real Madrid for the first time since 2014.

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