Diego Simeone is growing hopeful that star forward Antoine Griezmann will stay with Atletico Madrid beyond the current season.
Strong rumours across the Spanish press have suggested Barcelona will try to sign the French forward this summer, who has a reported €100m release clause.
“It (the hug between the forward and Coach) was a spontaneous gesture,” Simeone told reporters, as cited by Diario AS.
“It came naturally from him and the truth is we all want the best for Griezmann because we love him.
“This season he has been inconsistent, in the first part, he did not get that continuity which he has had since December. The numbers speak for themselves.
“[Diego] Costa's arrival has liberated him and the improvement in the team also. The team did not have consistency in its play during the first half of the season. Then better play combined with results, and that has helped him.
“I hope that he can see in our training sessions that this is a team who will keep growing and continue to improve, the best thing for a player is to see he is growing alongside the team.
“So, if we end this season fighting for La Liga until the end of the season with Barcelona and get into the Europa League final, it will be a strong season for us.
“That will count in his decision, for sure. We have to give him our all as a team and give him the motivation he needs so that when it’s time for a decision, he opts to stay with us.”