Barca boost front line with €120m Griezmann

LONDON • Barcelona yesterday announced signing Antoine Griezmann after the Spanish champions paid LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid the €120 million (S$183.5 million) release clause required to sign the World Cup winner.

"The player will sign a contract with his new club for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024, with a buyout clause of €800 million," the club said in a statement.

However, the move may not yet bring to an end a dispute between the two clubs and Griezmann, who had long sought a move to the Catalan giants, with Atletico demanding Barcelona pay up the full €200 million fee to trigger his pre-July 1 release clause.

The 28-year-old France forward failed to show up for his side's pre-season gathering last Sunday after he announced in May he would be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano, even though he could not reveal his destination until his release clause dropped to €120 million on July 1.

Last week, Atletico slammed Barcelona and Griezmann over a "lack of respect", after Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed that the two clubs held talks about the former Real Sociedad forward.

Yesterday, Diego Simeone's side, which finished second in LaLiga last term, issued an official statement saying: "Atletico believe the amount paid is insufficient to meet the release clause, because it is obvious the player and Barcelona had agreed terms before the release clause was reduced to €120 million.

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  • Third-most expensive signing in Barcelona's history after Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

"Atletico believe the termination of the contract occurred before the end of last season due to the events, acts and demonstrations carried out by the player.

"That is why the procedures have started that are considered appropriate for the defence of our rights and interests."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2019, with the headline 'Barca boost front line with £120m Griezmann'. Print Edition | Subscribe