Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are on the verge of striking a fresh deal with Antoine Griezmann that will allow him to play all of the games for the side from the Spanish capital for the remainder of the season, with Diego Simeone’s side agreeing to pay a fee of around 25m euros for his services.
Griezmann re-joined Atleti on an initial loan deal last season, consisting of a two year spell at the Wanda Metropolitana with a mandatory buy clause for 40m euros at the end of the second season.
That, however, was provided that he played a certain % of the total available minutes, a fact which has not been lost on the side from the Spanish capital. So far, they have deliberately left the Frenchman among the substitutes before, like clockwork, substituting him on around the hour mark, in order to prevent them from being bound to a 40m euro payment come next summer.
“It is what it is, it’s out of my hands,” Griezmann told the press after scoring the winner against Porto in their Champions League group stage opener.
“[I’m] grateful to God for being here. My family is happy, I of course want more, but I am going to give everything I have in the minutes I have.”
“I feel like a man of the club, I am happy here and I only want to play here and give everything for the club, for Cholo and for the fans.”
However, Barcelona were far less happy than the Frenchman over the situation, with reports claiming that they were preparing legal action against their fellow Spanish giants.
New agreement close
It seems as though that will not be necessary though, with French outlet L’Equipe reporting that an agreement is close to lower the payment to 25m euros, which will allow Griezmann to play from the start of games more often, while still netting Barcelona a much-needed transfer fee.
While the finer details remain to be ironed out, it seems as though Griezmann could finally be allowed to play more than 30 minutes in the weeks to come.