By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 04/06/17 11:57am
Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he will stay at Atletico Madrid this summer and it would be a “dirty move” to leave after their transfer ban was upheld.
The France forward had been of interest to Manchester United this summer, but any potential deal was made more complicated after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a ban preventing the La Liga club from registering new players.
United have subsequently cooled their interest and Griezmann, 26, told French television show Telefoot on Sunday that he appreciated it is now a “hard time” for Atletico.
“The ruling of the CAS has come through. Atletico cannot recruit. With my sporting advisor, Eric Olhats, we decided to stay,” he said.
“It’s a hard time for the club. It would be a dirty move to leave now. We talked to the leaders and we will be back for next season.”
Atletico, along with city rivals Real Madrid, were handed two-window transfer bans in January 2016 for multiple breaches of global football’s rules on the registration of U18s and both clubs failed in their appeals to FIFA last September.
The two Spanish giants then took their cases to the CAS but, while Real saw their ban halved to one transfer window in December, Atletico announced on Thursday that the only reduction they had been given was regarding their financial penalty.
That leaves them unable to sign new players until the January window, ending the club’s bid to bring in Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Griezmann, who has a release clause in his contract set at €100m (£87m), scored 26 goals in 53 appearances for Atletico this past season.