France international Antoine Griezmann has indicated that his respect for manager Diego Simeone has been a prime reason behind him staying put with Atletico Madrid over the past few seasons.
The 27-year-old appeared on the cusp of joining Manchester United during the summer of 2017 but the move eventually failed to materialise after Atleti failed to overcome their transfer embargo.
Fast-forwarding 12 months, Barcelona were very much fancied to pursue the former Real Sociedad man but he has once more decided to stay put with the Madrid giants.
Speaking after the European Super Cup win over Real Madrid, Griezmann stressed that Simeone was one of key reasons behind him staying put with the Capital outfit.
He said: “I stayed because there is a big project. I have confidence in this club and in Diego Simeone. I wasn’t wrong, we’ve done a lot of work and put in a huge amount of effort, the substitutes made the difference.”
The failure to sign Griezmann has not cost United greatly, considering the club thereafter acquired the signature of Romelu Lukaku, who has proved a huge hit since making the switch from Merseyside.
Lukaku netted 29 goals during his maiden season with United last term and the Belgian should surely be aiming to better the tally this time around with Mourinho’s men looking to challenge on four fronts once more.