In the offices of the Camp Nou, they continue to keep mum about the issue of Antoine Griezmann's future. They still don't feel like they've won the tug of war over the attacker's signature. For the last number of months, Robert Fernandez, the technical secretary, has been fighting to put the Frenchman in Barcelona's shirt next season. The shirt will be unveiled on Saturday at the Olympic Swimming Pools in Montjuic.
Josep María Bartomeu, the president of the club, also remains quiet on the issue. He knows that the agreement with the footballers is total and his main obsession is to keep relations with Atlético in tact. He believes the arrival of Griezmann is imminent and he wants to ensure that the deal is sealed before the World Cup in Russia starts in June 14th.
Barcelona and Griezmann are on the same page regarding the move and a penalty clause for either side backing out, much like the one Florentino Perez implemented in the Luis Figo deal to Madrid, could be in place. The fee of €15 and €20 million for backing out now could come into play if the deal breaks down.
It's not, of course, the first time that Barcelona have been close to signing Griezmann. Last summer, they were close although Manchester United were in a better position to sign him. The attacker said it would be a "dirty move" if he was to jump ship after Atletico's transfer ban was upheld and so he hung on. The Catalans were also interested when he was at Real Sociedad and wanted to rotate him between the first team and Barcelona B but it never came to pass and Barca signed Kiko Femenia instead.
Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona in January and the number 7 was kept in storage for Griezmann as the Brazilian was given the number 14 instead. Club sources said, "the number is reserved, it is untouchable" at the time. For who? It seems evident at this point. At this stage, only Griezmann can break the agreement at this point.