Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has blamed Manchester United links in the summer for Antoine Griezmann's dip in form this season and has also ruled out any plans of allowing the star forward leave the club next summer.
The France international was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford after the end of the last campaign. The deal collapsed after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld their Fifa transfer embargo, which prevented the La Liga outfit from registering players until January 2018.
Griezmann signed a new five-year deal at Atletico, while his release clause has been kept unchanged at €100m (£88.8m, $116.5m). The 26-year-old is still wanted by United, while Atletico's league rivals Barcelona are also in the race for his signature.
The attacker has struggled this term, scoring his last goal in all competitions for the club in September, against Chelsea. Cerezo stressed the summer speculation "did not benefit" Griezmann leading to a difficult start to the 2017/18 campaign.
"We have put in a lot of effort to keep him and to keep all the players," Cerezo said during an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca.
"The problem Griezmann has had is that a series of news stories about other important European clubs wanting him has not benefitted him. Griezmann is and will be an Atletico player. He is an important player and at an important club and he wants to win titles with Atletico."
"He may have had a start to the season which could have been better, but there is a lot left of the LaLiga season for him to show how important he is for the club and how important football is for him."
"He hasn't had much luck at the start of this season. He had a fantastic end to the previous season and he is still considered one of the best three players in the world. The advantage is that he is younger and has more of a future than the other two.
Despite the forward's current struggle, Cerezo remains confident Griezmann will bounce back: He said, "Everybody has their moments. It may be the case that he's not going through the best one right now, but I am convinced that it won't take long for him to be what we all want him to be once again, the Griezmann that he is."
"After all he has shown, there's no reason to doubt him or lose confidence in him because of playing five matches not so well. He will be the same old Griezmann against Real Madrid, one which is feared by defences and loved by Atletico fans."