What’s the story?
The Catalans have been warned by Atletico that they will face legal action if it's found that Griezmann signed a pre-contract agreement to move to Camp Nou back in March.
In case you didn’t know…
The Frenchman is expected to complete his switch to Barca in July as on July 1, the former Atletico Madrid number 7 saw his release clause drop from £180million to £107million.
Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil, said two weeks ago that he believes Griezmann has already agreed terms with Barcelona over a transfer. But on Thursday Atletico president Enrique Cerezo was asked what would happen if it was proved that Griezmann had agreed to join Barca four months ago he said:
"The truth is I don’t know but if it is as you say and he had already signed then there will be consequences.”
"It does not seem normal to me but I do not know if he has signed or not or if he is going to Barcelona or not.
"I suppose in a few days we will find out.”
The heart of the matter
The Madrid based club also released an official statement as a reply to the comments made by Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu regarding Griezmann's signing. Bartomeu in his conference said:
"Yesterday we had a meeting, Oscar Grau met with Miguel Angel Gil Marin, and we began to ask him if it would be possible for this to happen"
"I won't explain anything else. There's interest, that's why we met.
"I wasn't at the meeting. I can't explain anything else."
"Yesterday was the first contact that was made with Atletico for Griezmann".
The official Atletico Madrid statement read:
Following the statements made today by the president of FC Barcelona, Josep María Bartomeu, about our player Antoine Griezmann, Atlético de Madrid wants to publicly expose the following:
On May 14, Antoine Griezmann informed Miguel Ángel Gil, Diego Pablo Simeone and Andrea Berta of their decision to leave the club at the end of the season. In the days following that meeting, Atlético de Madrid learned that Fútbol Club Barcelona and the player had reached an agreement last March, specifically in the days after the second leg of our Champions League tie against Juventus, as well as they had been negotiating the terms of the agreement since mid-February.
In reference to President Bartomeu's statement made today, we want to state that it is true that yesterday there was a meeting between Miguel Ángel Gil and the Football Club Barcelona CEO, Oscar Grau, at the request of Barcelona and that at that meeting, Mr. Grau expressed his intention, once the clause of rescission of the contract of Antoine Griezmann and have passed from 200 to 120 million euros, request a postponement of the payment of the aforementioned amount of the current clause as of July 1.
Obviously the response from Atlético de Madrid was negative, understanding that both FC Barcelona and the player have disrespected Atlético de Madrid and all its fans.
As a result of all this, today, Atletico Madrid has requested the player, his sister as agent of the footballer and his lawyer, that Antoine Griezmann, in compliance with their contractual obligations with our club, appear next Sunday in the facilities of the entity in order to start the preseason with the rest of his teammates.
Through this press release, Atlético de Madrid wants to express its strongest repulsion for the behavior of both, especially the Fútbol Club Barcelona, for having induced the player to break his contractual relationship with Atlético de Madrid at one point during the season. where the club was playing, not only the Champions League tie against Juventus, but the League title against Fútbol Club Barcelona itself, something that we consider violates protected periods of negotiation with players and alters the basic rules that govern the integrity of all sports competition, besides being a huge loss to our club and its millions of fans.
Griezmann's move to Barcelona looks imminent but it remains to be seen if Barca face legal action over the signing.
Published 06 Jul 2019, 00:13 IST