Football

Barcelona signs Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona signs Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona signs Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, The 28-year-old World Cup winner has signed a five-year deal which includes an 800m euro (£717m) release clause.

He signed a new five-year deal in June 2018 but announced in May he would be leaving the club this summer.

Atletico has been unhappy about Barcelona’s approach for the player and says 120m euros is “insufficient”.

Griezmann is now the world’s sixth most expensive signing behind Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho, Joao Felix, and Ousmane Dembele.

Shortly after Barcelona announced the signing on Friday, Atletico responded by saying his buyout clause should have been 200m euros (£179m) – the value at the time they believe Griezmann and Barcelona began negotiating.

His release clause dropped from 200m euros to 120m euros on 1 July.

“Griezmann, represented by his lawyer, has appeared at the headquarters of the Professional Football League to unilaterally terminate the contract that links the player with Atletico,” they said in a statement.

“Atletico believes that the amount deposited is insufficient since it is obvious that the commitment of the player and Barcelona was closed before the aforementioned clause was reduced from 200 to 120 million euros.

“Atletico believes that the termination of the contract happened before the end of the last season and therefore has initiated procedures it has deemed appropriate to protect their rights and lawful interests.”

Atletico reported Barcelona to Fifa over an alleged illegal approach for Griezmann in December 2017.

Griezmann then rejected an offer from Barcelona last year and revealed his thought process in a documentary called The Decision.

But earlier this month Atletico accused Barca and Griezmann of disrespect and claimed the La Liga champions talked to their forward in March. They also ordered the player to report for pre-season.

In a statement, the Madrid club expressed their “strongest repulsion for the behavior of both, especially Barcelona”.

“With his arrival at Barcelona, the Frenchman takes another step forward in his career with the goal of consolidating his place as one of the best players in the world,” said the Catalan club.

Griezmann will be unveiled at the Nou Camp on Sunday at 18:30 BST.

The club put an emotive video on social media of the player jogging, with the caption: “Life is all about second chances.”

In the video, Griezmann says: “When I was a boy my dad taught me trains don’t come around just once. Now it’s time to take on the challenge of a new destination. Finally, our paths cross. I’ll defend the Barca colors with all my determination and commitment.”

He becomes Barca’s fourth major signing of the summer, following the acquisition of midfielder Frankie de Jong from Ajax, goalkeeper Neto from Valencia and defender Emerson from the Brazilian side Atletico-MG. It takes their spending this summer to 233m euros (£199.7m.)

He joins a star-studded forward line at the Nou Camp of Messi, Luis Suarez, Dembele, and Coutinho, while Paris St-Germain forward Neymar has also been linked with a return to the club this summer.

Atletico finished second in La Liga last season, nine points behind Griezmann’s new club.


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