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 By Ian Holyman

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann: Future will be decided before World Cup

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has said his future "will be decided before the World Cup."

The France international wants to avoid a repeat of the uncertainty last summer that affected his start to this season.

Griezmann was linked with Manchester United and said on French TV at the time that he rated his chances of moving to Old Trafford as "six out of 10."

He stayed at Atletico, where he is under contract until 2022, but had a below-par opening to the season and is determined that will not happen again.

Griezmann has since been linked with Barcelona, who in January denied reaching an agreement with him after reports that they had done so appeared in the Catalan press.

"I will decide before the World Cup," he told a news conference to preview France's friendly game against Russia. "I have told my club and my sister [Maud, who represents him].

"I am happy at Atletico. I had a tough start to the season but now I'm good. I still have a lot to learn with the manager.

"I want to win another trophy with Atletico."

Griezmann scored 26 times in 53 competitive appearances for Atletico last season, but managed only seven goal in the first half of this season. He has since scored 16 goals, including 10 in his last seven outings.

"I want to continue my good form. It will give me more confidence for the World Cup," he said. "I will be even more careful about my recovery until the end of the season. There is no worries to have about my fitness.

"I will be in good form for the World Cup. We did a lot of work in July and August to be strong physically at the end of the season."

In an interview with L'Equipe, Griezmann also attributed his form to the arrival of Diego Costa at Atletico, saying the former Chelsea striker "took a lot of weight off me." He added that last summer's transfer saga made it difficult for him to focus at Atletico and he "only enjoyed myself with the national team, where I was at peace. They left me alone."

Costa, who returned to Atletico in September after three seasons at Chelsea, is confident Griezmann will stay put.

The Brazilian-born striker, who is on international duty with Spain, said at a news conference on Wednesday that he enjoys playing alongside the Frenchman.

"Griezmann knows how much we like him," Costa said. "He knows how important he is to us. He hasn't told me that he is leaving. In any case, I would love for him to stay. It's true that each one of us has to look at what is best for us but I think the best for him is to stay.

"I think he is going to stay. When I wasn't here, he would ask me to come [to Atletico] and now that I'm here, he is going to leave? I don't think so."

ESPN FC's Julien Laurens and Adriana Garcia contributed to this report.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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