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SOCCER

Atlético put pressure on Barça for Griezmann

The Frenchman will likely play less than 45 minutes against Real Sociedad.

Update:
29/08/22 PARTIDO PRIMERA DIVISION
VALENCIA CF - ATLETICO DE MADRID 
GRIEZMANN
DAVID GONZALEZDiarioAS

Antoine Griezmann will be on the bench for Atlético Madrid at the Reale Arena this weekend. The Frenchman will be a sub for the fourth consecutive time when Diego Simeone’s side travel to San Sebastian. The buy-out clause of his contract is on the table and the obligation to exercise it is measured by the forward’s participation this season.

Simeone was clear in the press conference on Friday. “They have known me for 10 years as a coach. I am a club man and I always will be”. The Frenchman’s case is a complex one. He returned to Atlético on 31 August 2021 at 23:59, one minute before the window closed. The striker had spent two years at Barcelona, underperforming compared to his five previous seasons as an Atleti player and Simeone was the man behind his return to the capital.

On loan for two seasons, if he plays 45 minutes or more in 50% of the games he is available between the two seasons (which excludes injuries and suspensions), Atlético will have to pay 40 million to the Blaugrana. It’s not a cheap option for Atlético. And in his first season back, Griezmann fulfilled that premise in 30 of the 37 games he was fit (81%). In the other six he came off the bench and in El Sadar he did not come on. Griezmann came on in the 62nd minute in the games against Getafe and Villarreal and in the 64th minute against Valencia. This has caused the percentage to drop to 75% and will continue to do so until a solution is found.

Griezmann among the goals

The 31-year-old is performing on the pitch. He ended the game against Getafe with a great goal from outside the box and scored the winner at Mestalla. Two league goals in less than 90 minutes when in the whole of last season he scored three (eight in all competitions). Griezmann significantly reduced his salary to return to Atlético. If he returns to Barca, he will be practically unaffordable for the Catalan outfit. The player is happy in Madrid and Simeone wants him, but Atlético are trying to avoid paying the 40 million. The solution could be to sit down and lower the final price. El Cholo has always been a great supporter of the Frenchman, but he has already made it clear that the club is bigger than him. The pressure is on the Blaugrana.

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