Diego Simeone has suggested Atletico Madrid are limiting Antoine Griezmann’s minutes in order to avoid activating a purchase clause in the forward’s loan deal.
Griezmann is midway through a two-year loan spell from Barcelona, but Atleti must reportedly make the France international’s stay permanent should he play over 45 minutes in the majority of their games.
While Griezmann made 21 league starts for Los Colchoneros last season, scoring three goals and adding four assists, he has been reduced to a bit-part role at the outset of the new campaign.
The 31-year-old has impressed during his three substitute appearances this season, scoring twice, but has only played 82 minutes in LaLiga.
Asked whether his management of Griezmann’s playing time was dictated by club policy, Simeone said: “They have known me for 10 years. I am a club man and always will be.
“We must try to make them [the players] understand that entering 30 minutes well is more important than playing 60 badly.
“Everyone wants to play more minutes and that is why the coaches look for the best situations for the team.”