Barcelona in Atlético first-refusal deal; Sául, Giménez included
Barcelona have not only paid Atlético 15m euros to seal an Antoine Griezmann peace deal, but have also obtained first-refusal on five players.
It was revealed on Monday that Barcelona have agreed to pay Atlético Madrid 15 million euros as part of a peace deal between the two clubs over Antoine Griezmann's 120-million-euro summer move to the Camp Nou.
The fee forked out by Barça prevents Atlético from publishing emails which, according to the Madrid club, prove that Griezmann held unauthorised negotiations with the Blaugrana in March, when he still had four years to run on his contract at the Wanda Metropolitano.
According to FIFA rules, players are only free to talk to other teams without prior permission from their current club if they are in the final six months of their deal.
Barcelona buy first refusal on five Atleti players - Sául, Giménez thought to be among them
However, there is more. In addition to paying 15m euros, Barcelona have also acquired first-refusal on five Atlético players, two of which are understood to be first-team regulars Sául Ñíguez and José María Giménez.
Although this has not been confirmed by Atlético, Los Rojiblancos have said that Barça have paid them for the chance to match any offer for a list of players "chiefly in the club's academy", and that three conditions must be met for this right of first-refusal to be activated.
Firstly, the player must state his desire to leave Atlético; secondly, the club must agree to sell; and thirdly, another team must make an offer that Los Colchoneros deem to be acceptable. Were all three criteria to be fulfilled, Atlético would have to inform Barcelona of the bid they have received, and allow the Catalans a time period in which to secure the player's services ahead of the other interested party.
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