(GUARDIAN) - Atletico Madrid have opened disciplinary proceedings against Antoine Griezmann that could result in a fine after he failed to turn up for training.
Griezmann is awaiting a move to Barcelona and the battle between the clubs and the player is growing increasingly bitter. The France forward did not show up at the club's Majadahonda headquarters on Sunday evening (July 7) and did not travel with the rest of the squad to San Rafael de los Angeles northwest of the Spanish capital.
Griezmann will complete his transfer to the Camp Nou as soon as Barcelona activate his formal buyout clause by depositing €120m (S$183m) at La Liga's headquarters, which is expected to happen imminently after negotiations over an alternative broke down amid recriminations for the way Barcelona have handled the transfer.
His clause dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1, but Barcelona had sought a negotiated settlement in a meeting last week, preferring to find a way of staggering the payments. Atletico have refused to negotiate and reacted angrily to Barcelona's suggestion and to their president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, publicly declaring their interest in the striker. In a strongly worded statement they accused Barcelona and the player of a "lack of respect".
Atletico also demanded Griezmann report for duty, given he was still under contract at the club - even though he announced his departure almost two months ago. His decision was revealed in a mobile phone video message that the club had asked him to film at the home of the chief executive, Miguel-Angel Gil Marin, and released on May 14. Because Griezmann's buyout clause would be paid, there was nothing Atletico could do to prevent him leaving from 1 July but he did not name his destination.
Barcelona claimed they had only started to talking to Griezmann on July 4, after the clause lapsed. Atletico insist they have been made aware of an agreement being reached in March, shortly after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus, and thus consider this an illegal approach.
Barcelona will still sign Griezmann but must do so now via the unilateral payment of €120m up front - money Atletico were counting on and have already effectively already spent on strengthening their squad.