Antoine Griezmann will accept an offer from Barcelona, reports Spanish TV program Jugones, four days after Atlético's president said he was "1,000 percent staying".
Antoine Griezmann will accept an offer from Barcelona.
That’s according to Spanish TV program Jugones, who claim that Griezmann’s camp have approached the Catalan club to tell them of his interest in playing at Camp Nou next season.
The French international had been hotly tipped to join the LaLiga champions last summer, before eventually deciding to stay at Atlético Madrid. In order to keep him at the Wanda, Atlético raised his salary as part of a new deal, which also saw his buyout clause rise to 200 million euros.
That clause, however, will fall to 120 million euros in July, as was agreed with the player during negotiations last summer, which leaves him with a more viable opportunity to move on this summer should he wish to.
🚨🚨🔥 El Chiringuito TV |Antoine Griezmann will say yes to Barcelona, the player's environment has contacted Barcelona . pic.twitter.com/jHo2CAUKlH— Enock Kobina Essel (@kobinaessel39) 5 April 2019
Recent reports indicated Greizmann would remain at Atlético
But despite the constant Barca rumours, reports over the past ten days seemed to give every indication that Griezmann would be staying with Los Rojiblancos next season.
On 26 March the player himself expressed his weariness about the constant links with Barcelona, saying: “I’m fed up, every year it’s the same thing.” Three days later on 29 March, AS reported that the French striker had told Atlético’s hierarchy he wanted to stay at the club next season. This was followed by the statement on 1 April by club president Enrique Cerezo, who said the French striker was “1000 percent staying” in the Spanish capital.
But Friday’s report by Jugones has again reopened talk of a summer move to Barcelona, who, according to Catalan local papers this Friday, have already moved ahead with their plan to strengthen their squad for next season.
4 - @atletienglish's Antoine Griezmann is the fourth @LaLigaEN player to reach double figures for both goals (18) and assists (10) this season in all competitions, after Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Pablo Sarabia. Critical. pic.twitter.com/fXCVqjLpPJ— OptaJose (@OptaJose) 30 March 2019
Barcelona play down Griezmann links
By their part, Barça have publically played down any recent links with the player, with the club’s director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, saying on Tuesday that: “We’ve been talking about Antoine Griezmann for two years. He was and still is an Atlético Madrid player. We respect other club’s players and are thinking about Barcelona.”
Meanwhile, Carles Rexach, an advisor to Barça president Josep Bartomeu, was resounding in his statements regarding Greizmann this Friday, saying the Frenchman had missed his chance to join the LaLiga champions.
"I would not sign Griezmann for Barça,” he told Spanish news agency EFE. “I cannot be more clear, he had his moment to come to Barcelona and in the end he chose to continue at Atlético de Madrid. The train passes once in your life and if you let it pass, it has passed.”