Reports: Real Madrid and Barcelona spark furious battle for €100m superstar's signature
What's the story?
Antoine Griezmann's transfer saga has taken yet another twist, with Real Madrid all set to spark of a 'transfer war' ahead of the Atletico Madrid star's proposed move to Barcelona, according to a report in Spanish news outlet, SPORT, as well as French publication, L'Equipe. With news that Barcelona were in contact with the Frenchman's family coming through last week, Florentino Perez has grown desperate to ensure that his rivals do not further strengthen in January. Los Blancos are keen to take advantage of the fact that Griezmann loves the city of Madrid and his admiration for Zinedine Zidane - and may sidestep a negotiation with rivals Atletico by simple triggering Griezmann's €100 million release clause.
Also Read: 6 unknown facts about Antoine Griezmann
In case you didn't know...
Antoine Griezmann joined Basque club Real Sociedad's youth system at the age of 14 in 2005, with the Frenchman impressing in a game against Paris St-Germain's youth team. He spent 4 years in the youth system, before making his first-team debut for his club in 2009, aged 18. Griezmann shone for 5 seasons at Sociedad, making 201 appearances for the club and scoring 52 goals. Thus, Atletico saw it fit to pay the Basque side a fee around Griezmann's release clause of €30 million to bring him to Madrid in 2014.
The heart of the matter
Griezmann's departure from Atletico Madrid has been all but confirmed by various Atletico insiders over the last few months, not least with hints from the player himself. Thus, it is no surprise that the three biggest clubs in Europe - Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona are all locked in a battle for the Frenchman's signature.
Atletico have resigned themselves to losing their talisman, and would be most glad to sell to Manchester United instead of Barcelona and Real Madrid, although the player is reluctant to leave Spain. Reports in Spanish radio claim that Griezmann's latest social media mishap, where he was accused of racism, has cooled Barcelona's interest in the Frenchman. Thus, Florentino Perez is all set to pounce, and steal a march on Madrid's El Clasico rivals.
Real Madrid have trumped Barcelona in the transfer market of late, and it seems that trend will continue. Unfortunately for Barcelona, this is a signing that could revitalize Real Madrid's season - thus making the battle for La Liga not a cakewalk as it now seems.