Reports: Barcelona hold talks with £85 million rated striker
Barcelona are keen on signing a striker in the summer and have set sights on him.
What’s the story?
Barcelona have set sights on signing Antoine Griezmann and have held talks with him according to reports in Spain. The French international has been in red-hot form for Atletico Madrid and has attracted interest from several top clubs across Europe.
Manchester United and Real Madrid were reportedly the clubs leading the race for the Atletico Madrid star, but the Catalan side have now jumped ahead. Griezmann has a release clause in his contract and Barcelona have reportedly triggered it while Madrid and United were negotiating with Atletico.
In case you didn’t know...
Atletico Madrid signed Griezmann from Real Sociedad after activating his release clause of £24 million. The striker made an instant impact at the club and is now a target for other big clubs.
Manchester United have been the ones linked heavily with him. Reports have suggested that he has already agreed personal terms and also been told that he will be handed the number 7 jersey when he signs.
Barcelona meanwhile are looking to sign a striker in the summer to take the burden off Messi, Neymar and Suarez. The trio have been in stunning form, but the board believes they will need a little help from next season.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona have acted quickly and have activated the £85 million release clause in Griezmann's contract at Atletico Madrid. The club were demanding nearly £100 million for him last summer, but Diego Simeone accidentally confirmed that the striker had a release clause.
In March, when asked by AS if Griezmann could leave the club in the summer, Simeone replied: "Yes, because there is a termination clause. There is no security."
Manchester United and Real Madrid are keen on signing him but were trying to negotiate a swap deal with Atletico. This gave the Catalan side a chance to swoop in and take him away, and they took the opportunity with both hands.
Barcelona will now hold talks with Griezmann and try to conclude the deal as soon as possible. The striker has admitted that he is not willing to move to Manchester United because of the city's weather and that leaves Real Madrid as the Catalan side's main rivals for the Atletico Madrid man.
Griezmann is a great striker but where will he fit in at Barcelona? He's too good to be on the bench. Unless he is offered a role in the starting XI, the Frenchman might not move to Camp Nou.