Madrid, Feb 18: Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone on Saturday stressed the importance of French forward Antoine Griezmann for the capital football giants amid ongoing speculation about his future.

Simeone said he understood fans’ fears about seeing Griezmann leave the club, with media reports linking him with a move to either FC Barcelona or Manchester United, reports Efe.

“He is a fantastic guy — enthusiasm, joy, humility and a big heart for the group,” Simeone said at a press conference on the eve of the La Liga match against Athletic Club Bilbao.

“If I were an Atletico Madrid fan, I would do everything possible to avoid losing Griezmann. I would urge them to think about the team, starting from coach, to the club and the fans,” he added.

Shortlisted for the 2016 Ballon d’Or award, Griezmann is Atletico’s top scorer with eight goals in 23 matches.

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