Barcelona bag forward Griezmann after stumping up EUR120 million

BARCELONA (AFP) – Barcelona announced the signing of Antoine Griezmann yesterday after the Spanish champions paid La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid the EUR120 million (USD135 million) release clause required to sign the World Cup winner.

“The player will sign a contract with his new club for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024, with a buyout clause of EUR800 million,” Barca said in a statement. Yesterday’s announcement brought to an end a dispute between the two clubs and Griezmann, who had long aimed to move to the Catalan giants.

The 28-year-old failed to show up for his side’s pre-season gathering last Sunday after he had announced in May he would be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano, even though he could not reveal his destination until his release clause dropped from EUR200 million to EUR120 million at the start of the month.

Last week, Atletico accused Barcelona and Griezmann of a “lack of respect” after Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed the two clubs had held talks about the former Real Sociedad forward.

Atletico also claimed that Griezmann had told the club that he had struck a deal with Barcelona in March, just days before the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, which saw them dumped out by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick after winning the first leg 2-0 in Madrid.

Griezmann joined Atletico in 2014 and has scored 133 goals in 257 appearances, lifting the Europa League in 2018.

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. – AFP