Signs point to Griezmann Atletico stay
Multiple people within Antoine Griezmann’s inner circle say they want him to stay at Atletico Madrid rather than join Barcelona next season, sources close to the forward told Julien Laurens.
Earlier on Tuesday, Griezmann said he has made a decision on his future, but refused to clarify where he will play next season when speaking to reporters at France’s World Cup camp in Russia. But those closest to the 27-year-old are urging him to stay at Atletico, sources said, with one source indicating there is no sign at this time that Griezmann is planning on a move to Barcelona.
Atletico are also working on enticing Griezmann to stay by agreeing a deal in principle on Tuesday to sign his France teammate Thomas Lemar from Monaco. Griezmann worked actively to bring Lemar to Atletico and is excited to play with him, sources said before the agreement was announced. According to Marca, Griezmann’s willingness to stay was contingent on Lemar’s arrival — and that move now only awaits a medical and the signing of paperwork.
Griezmann’s reluctance to reveal his plans could be because he is playing a waiting game to make sure he gets the best deal possible to renew his contract with Atletico.
Last summer, Griezmann signed a one-year contract extension with Atletico until 2022 that doubled both his wages from €7m to €14m net for last season only and his release clause from €100m to €200m. However, those figures will revert to the previous numbers after July 1.
With Barcelona likely willing to pay €100m to secure Griezmann’s services, Atletico will be up against a deadline to convince Griezmann to stay.
Also playing against a potential move to Barcelona, sources added, is that the Catalan club have told Griezmann they want him to play out wide — something is he is not so keen to do on a regularly basis. So despite the temptation to play with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, most signs point to Griezmann staying put.