Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has suggested talismanic forward Antoine Griezmann will stay at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium next season.
The Frenchman has been linked with a lucrative move away from Los Rojiblancos for much of his career in the Spanish capital, with Barcelona amongst a host of elite European clubs vying for his signature.
However, he has shown loyalty to the team he joined from Real Sociedad for €30m in 2014, going on to be named as one of the side's four captains for the 2018/19 campaign.
Griezmann has had a respectable season for Atletico despite their frustrations both domestically and abroad, the 28-year-old netting 21 times in all competitions. Simeone's men were eliminated in the Champions League round of 16 by Juventus, whilst Barça have comfortably seen off their challenge for the La Liga title.
Though he is one of their star performers, Simeone remained calm when discussing the prospect of the World Cup winner moving on. Speaking after Atleti's 1-1 league draw with Sevilla on Sunday, he stated: "These situations are normal for a very important footballer.
"[Griezmann] will be our second captain, we will give him affection. The club has worked hard for him to be with us and he has given us joy and enthusiasm. He wants to be here.
"We are a team that makes important players. Any powerful team can remove players by paying the clauses [in their contracts]," Simeone finished.
The significance of Griezmann's role as a leader within Simeone's squad is likely to increase if he does indeed stay with Madrid, with club stalwart Diego Godin leaving this summer after nine excellent years in red and white.
Though it has yet to be confirmed, veteran full-back Juanfran is also thought to be considering retirement having turned 34 in January. If that were to occur, Atletico would have just two of their four captains from this campaign, handing Griezmann yet more authority.