Football: Fifa tapping up complaint won't put Barcelona off imminent move for Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann will likely move to Barcelona in the summer but a deal could be struck in January.
Antoine Griezmann will likely move to Barcelona in the summer but a deal could be struck in January.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Barcelona are making moves to bring Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann to the Catalan capital as clubs around Europe prepare for the January transfer window.

The winter window opens at one minute past midnight on Jan 1, but Barca are looking for a belated Christmas present in the France international.

The forward will likely move in the summer but a deal could be struck in January.

Mundo Deportivo claimed Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has had dinner with Griezmann's parents and sister, who manages the player's affairs, and the club are looking to tie him down to a deal that would see him move in the summer.

Not even Atletico's complaint to Fifa about Barca's public pursual of their star is likely to stop the move from happening, with Barca director Guillermo Amor as good as admitting the meeting took place.

In August, Griezmann's former agent Eric Ohalts revealed that he would have moved to Manchester United in the summer had Fifa not upheld a transfer ban that stopped the Madrid club from buying any reinforcements, and now Barca are ready to swoop.

Barca still have full coffers after receiving €222 million (S$353.8 million) from the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and Griezmann's €100 million euros buyout clause means the club only need to agree personal terms, avoiding the problems they encountered when they failed to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in August.

Barcelona are however still keeping tabs on Coutinho and could make a lower bid than the €100 million they were prepared to pay in the summer.