Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has revealed that contacts have now been made over a possible transfer for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann, 28, had earlier announced his decision to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, with his €120 million (9.3 billion) release clause set to be activated from July 1. Antoine Griezmann Confirms Exit from Atletico Madrid.
“I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges. The truth is it has been difficult to take this route, but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years,” Griezmann had said in a short video posted on Atletico’s social media channels.
The World Cup-winning French star was initially linked to both Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League winners Manchester City. But with both the clubs ruling themselves out of the race to sign the forward, Barcelona were left with a clear run to finalise the deal. Atletico Madrid Transfer News: Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri & More in the Confirmed and Rumoured List of Footballers Exiting Rojiblancos.
“It is true we have already made contacts,” Valverde said after Barcelona finished their La Liga campaign with a 2-2 draw at Eibar.
“The contacts are ongoing, but the season isn’t over yet. We have the Copa Del Rey final still to play. We have the chance of winning two titles and we must try to focus on this issue,” added the Blaugrana coach before refusing to talk any further on the issue.
“Afterwards we will have time for everything else – we won’t say anything new when we are talking about players from other teams. We will see (what happens). He (Griezmann) is a great player. We’ve always said so.” Antoine Griezmann Transfer News: Striker’s Decision to Leave Atletico Madrid Must Be Respected, Says Alvaro Morata.
Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Liverpool and despite retaining the domestic league title, their season has ended in disappointment. Valverde’s men, however, have an opportunity to finish on high with a victory in the Copa Del Rey final.
They take on Valencia at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville in the Copa Del Rey final.