The latest on Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona as Atletico target Semedo – Sport

As per a report from Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have opened formal negotiations over the transfer of Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann announces departure

The story surrounding the future of Atletico star man Griezmann has been one of the talking points of the summer transfer window so far.

On the back of rumours that Barcelona were ready to reignite their pursuit of the Frenchman this summer, after missing out on his signature this time last year, both Griezmann and Atletico confirmed that the former had signalled his intent to seek a new challenge:

‘It’s been an incredible five years. Thank you very much for everything. I will take you in my heart.’

This led to immediate claims that Barca were ready to trigger the Frenchman’s release clause:

‘Never spoken’

However, while developments towards a deal being completed had since been expected, progress has been almost non-existent.

In fact, Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu last week went as far as to claim that talks between the Spanish champions and Griezmann had not even begun:

‘We’ve always said it. We’ve never spoken to him. There’s nothing. We’re already seeing how the market is growing these days and weeks.’

This came despite Atletico CEO Gil Marin having previously definitively stated that the Rojiblancos’ standout would eventually make the move to the Camp Nou:

‘I know exactly where he’s going to play. I’ve known since March. In Barcelona.’

Griezmann in, Semedo out?

The latest updates emerging from Spain this afternoon, meanwhile, suggest that the first meeting between the Barca and Atleti hierarchies over Griezmann took place last week.

As per Sport’s report, which backs a similar claim from L’Equipe:

‘Barça and Atlético want the signing to be carried out in the most advantageous manner for both parties, and this will lead to a friendly settlement.’

Sport suggest that Barcelona are ready to pay a slight premium of 6 million Euro, on top of Griezmann’s release clause.

This would in turn see Atletico allow their La Liga rivals to spread the cost of the payment out over multiple installments, a route which would open the door for Barca to push forward in their pursuit of Neymar this summer.

Atleti, however, are also keen on Blaugrana stopper Nelson Semedo being included in the deal.

Although Barca were previously against allowing the Portuguese international to depart, his name is now reportedly a firm part of negotiations.

And the two clubs, despite a difference in valuation regarding Semedo, today appear to be inching towards an agreement.

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