Atlético de Madrid are not happy with Barcelona's pursuit of Antoine Griezmann and have gone public to voiced their unhappiness. Club President Enrique Cerezo has reiterated that the team's star player is not for sale.
Gil Marín blasts Barcelona over Griezmann comments
Over the past few weeks, Barcelona have tried to negotiate with Atlético for Griezmann but have been rebuffed by Rojiblanco bosses. As far as Atleti are concerned, they are counting on the striker and they could not have picked a worse time to undermine the club with Europa League final at the top of their priorities list. Club CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín has issued a statement to express the club's concerns:
"We have become increasingly fed up with Barcelona's attitude. That a president (Bartomeu), a player (Luis Suárez) and a director (Guillermo Amor) from the same club talk in that way about the future of a player who is under contract - just a few days before a European final, to me, shows a complete lack of respect towards Atlético de Madrid and to our fans".
Barcelona tapping up, not acceptable, say Atlético
The comments coming out of Barcelona have gone down badly in the capital. Back in December, Barça's Director of Institutional Relations Guillermo Amor responded when asked about Griezmann: "Maybe there has been an approach, I don't know, but there could be a good understanding and a good relationship - perhaps conversations have taken place...". As a consequence of those declarations, made live on Spanish television, Atlético de Madrid decided to report the Catalan club to FIFA.
Not that Barça have been deterred. Last week, Atlético were outraged yet again when Luis Suárez spoke as thought it was taken as read that Griezmann would be on board with the Azulgranas next season. On Monday, Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted live on air that Barça met with the player's agent in October. All of which can be considered tapping up and Atlético would be within their rights to take measures.
Griezmann's buy-out to be reduced in July
Griezmann's buy-out is 200 million euros which will be halved to 100 million on 1 July, and Barcelona plan to sign the striker after that date. However, Atlético are studying whether they would be able to place a 200 million euro price tag on Griezmann, considering that there is enough proof that contact was made with the player before the retention clause was lowered.
Cadena COPE report that a deal has already been struck: "Griezmann made a verbal agreement with Barça some time ago but he had second thoughts and was thinking about staying at Atleti. Griezmann wanted to back out of the deal but there is a compensation clause in the agreement which he would be obliged to pay should the operation fall through because of him". If Griezmann is sold, Real Sociedad would be due for a 20% cut of the transfer fee as they retained a percentage of the player's rights.
Atleti offer Griezmann a new deal and pay rise
Atlético are adamant that they are not willing to sell their star player under any circumstances and have offered to boost his salary to 20 million euros. If someone does come along and stump up his buy-out, a scenario which Atleti would be powerless to do anything about, they would not be able to find a replacement with Griezmann's quality for a similar price.