Despite the fact Atletico Madrid have sealed the €126 million signing of Joao Felix, they still haven’t managed to sell Antoine Griezmann.
The French striker, who announced his desire to leave Atletico at the end of the season, finds himself in limbo at the moment.
Atleti handed his No. 7 shirt number to Felix and are waiting for Barcelona to trigger the World Cup winner’s €120 million release clause.
Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed on Friday afternoon that they want to sign the 28-year-old, telling reporters: "On Thursday there was a meeting between FC Barcelona CEO Òscar Grau, and Atletico Madrid CEO Àngel Gil Marín. He is a player who interests us.”
However, these comments have prompted Atletico to release an angry statement, in which they accuse both Barça and Griezmann of disrespect.
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Atleti have also revealed that Griezmann and Barça reached an agreement back in March, just before the club’s crucial Champions League tie against Juventus, with talks dating back to February.
"Following the statements made today by the president of FC Barcelona, Josep María Bartomeu, about our player Antoine Griezmann, Atlético de Madrid wants to publicly expose the following:
"On May 14, Antoine Griezmann informed Miguel Ángel Gil, Diego Pablo Simeone and Andrea Berta of their decision to leave the club at the end of the season. In the days following that meeting, Atlético de Madrid learned that Fútbol Club Barcelona and the player had reached an agreement last March, specifically in the days after the second leg of our Champions League tie against Juventus, as well as they had been negotiating the terms of the agreement since mid-February.”
The statement also claims that Barça have requested a payment of the €120 million fee - a situation that Atletico have said no to.
It continued: ”In reference to President Bartomeu's statement made today, we want to state that it is true that yesterday there was a meeting between Miguel Ángel Gil and the Football Club Barcelona CEO, Oscar Grau, at the request of Barcelona and that at that meeting, Mr. Grau expressed his intention, once the clause of rescission of the contract of Antoine Griezmann and have passed from 200 to 120 million euros, request a postponement of the payment of the aforementioned amount of the current clause as of July 1.
"Obviously the response from Atlético de Madrid was negative, understanding that both FC Barcelona and the player have disrespected Atlético de Madrid and all its fans.”
They now expect Griezmann to report back for pre-season training next weekend.
"As a result of all this, today, Atletico Madrid has requested the player, his sister as agent of the footballer and his lawyer, that Antoine Griezmann, in compliance with their contractual obligations with our club, appear next Sunday in the facilities of the entity in order to start the preseason with the rest of his teammates,” the statement adds.
"Through this press release, Atlético de Madrid wants to express its strongest repulsion for the behavior of both, especially the Fútbol Club Barcelona, for having induced the player to break his contractual relationship with Atlético de Madrid at one point during the season. where the club was playing, not only the Champions League tie against Juventus, but the League title against Fútbol Club Barcelona itself.
"That is something that we consider violates protected periods of negotiation with players and alters the basic rules that govern the integrity of all sports competition, besides being a huge loss to our club and its millions of fans."News Now - Sport News