The Antoine Griezmann soap opera is in its closing act. After a lot of speculations, threats of lawsuits and tense negotiations, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are on the verge of signing an agreement for the permanent transfer of the French international, reports Fabrizio Romano.
The 31-year-old joined Atletico on loan from Barça last year, with the agreement containing a mandatory €40 million purchase clause. However, the two clubs were in disagreement over the conditions for the permanent buy clause to be activated.
Barcelona argued that the clause had been triggered after Griezmann played at least 45 minutes in more than 50% of Atleti’s matches last season.
The Rojiblancos, however, were of the stance that the €40 million purchase obligation would become active only if the 2018 World Cup winner played 45 minutes or more in 50% of the matches across the two seasons on loan, as a result of which they were using him for less than 30 minutes per game this term.
Frustrated by their rivals’ tactics, Barça were considering taking legal action. However, after reconsideration, the Catalan giants decided that they would rather settle for a lower fee from Atletico Madrid rather than having Griezmann back at the club next season.
Negotiations had been going on for a while and a breakthrough was finally achieved, with reports yesterday claiming that Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement for a fee of €20 million plus €2 million in add-ons.
Fabrizio Romano corroborates those claims and is now adding that the two parties are confident of signing the agreement imminently, putting the entire saga to bed.
Griezmann is set to sign a long-term contract with Atletico Madrid that will keep him at the Civitas Metropolitano until 2027.
Some outlets have claimed that the 31-year-old forward will be signing a contract until 2026. Irrespective of that, he is understood to have taken another big pay cut to remain at Atletico Madrid, as he always wanted to continue with Diego Simeone’s side.
With the agreement set to be signed in the near future, Barcelona will be rid of Griezmann permanently while Atletico can use him as a starter and not restrict his game-time to just 30 minutes per match.