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Griezmann decides to stay with Atletico

Barcelona had made the Frenchman their No 1 target this summer and are believed to have agreed a £100million deal with the Rojiblancos.

Griezmann, who had said he would clarify his future before France’s World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday, revealed he would be staying put during a Spanish television documentary called ‘The Decision’ aired on Thursday evening.

It is the second successive summer that Griezmann has been the subject of speculation over a big-money switch away from the Rojiblancos. Last year it was United who looked to be leading the chase for his services, only for the France international to end up signing a one-year contract extension with Atletico, tying him to the club until 2022.

This year it had been LaLiga champions Barca who had emerged as Griezmann’s likeliest destination if he opted to leave Atletico, although United had continued to be linked with the prolific forward.

Since joining from Real Sociedad for a reported £24million in 2014, Griezmann has scored 112 goals in all competitions for Atletico and finished each season as the club’s top scorer. He also helped Atletico reach the 2016 Champions League final and scored twice as they beat Marseille 3-0 in last month’s Europa League final.

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A contract renewal until 2023 is now expected, although Atletico Madrid are not allowing this broadcast to alter their original plans.

No official announcement will, therefore, be made by the club until the paperwork is signed by both parties.

In the Atleti offices, the decision to pledge his future to the club now has been understood, as directors realize that France coach Didier Deschamps wanted all of his players focussed for the World Cup.

“I have decided to stay,” said Griezmann.

“They are doing everything they can to keep Atletico growing and so that they can play the Champions League final, hopefully at home [in 2019].

“They are making an effort to bring top players. This is going to make a difference.”

One of those players is Griezmann’s international team-mate Thomas Lemar, who appears bound for Atletico after the club  announced on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached to sign Monaco star.

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