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Atleti blasts Barcelona and Griezmann over move

Transfer: Atletico Madrid blasts Barcelona and Griezmann after secret meeting comes to light

July 5, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Los Rojiblancos has hit out at the Catalans and the Frenchman for the manner in which they have handled the latter's purported transfer.

Atletico Madrid has responded publicly to Barcelona's confirmation of talks with Antoine Griezmann over his purported move this summer. Los Rojiblancos have issued a strong-worded statement asking for the Blaugrana to be sanctioned after they allegedly pursued their striker without proper authorization.

Earlier on Friday, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed that the two clubs had met on Thursday to discuss a deal for the French striker.

"Yesterday we had a meeting, Oscar Grau met with Miguel Angel Gil Marin, and we began to ask him if it would be possible for this to happen," he told reporters.

"I won't explain anything else. There's interest, that's why we met. "I wasn't at the meeting. I can't explain anything else.

"Yesterday was the first contact that was made with Atletico for Griezmann."

In a statement released by Atletico Madrid, the club confirmed that it indeed made contact with Barcelona regarding the transfer of Griezmann. However, it rejected the Catalans' proposal of signing the French but delaying the payment of his 120 million euros ($134.6 million) buyout clause.

Los Rojiblancos then accused Barcelona and Griezmann for being disrespectful after the former began contract negotiations with the striker in March. According to the statement, the talks took place a few days before the Madrid club's Champions League Round of 16 elimination by Juventus, having entered the encounter with a two-goal advantage from the first leg.

In retaliation, Atletico Madrid has asked Griezmann to report for the pre-season training.

"Following today's quotes from FC Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu on our player Antoine Griezmann, Atlético de Madrid wishes to publicly declare that: On May 14, Antoine Griezmann informed Miguel Ángel Gil, Diego Pablo Simeone and Andrea Berta of his decision to leave our club at the end of the season.

"In the days that followed that meeting, Atlético de Madrid learned that FC Barcelona and the player had reached an agreement in March, specifically in the days following the return match of our Champions League tie against Juventus, and that they had been negotiating the terms of the agreement since mid-February.

"Regarding president Bartomeu's statement today we wish to state that it is true that yesterday there was a meeting between Miguel Ángel Gil and FC Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau, at Barcelona's request and that at that meeting, Mr Grau expressed his intention, once the release clause of Antoine Griezmann's contract had decreased from 200 to 120 million euros, to ask for a deferred payment of the aforementioned amount of the clause in force as from July 1. Atlético de Madrid's response was obviously negative, as we believe that FC Barcelona and the player have disrespected Atlético de Madrid and all its fans.

"As a consequence, today, Atletico de Madrid has instructed the player, his sister and agent and his lawyer, that Antoine Griezmann, in compliance with his contractual obligations with our club, must appear next Sunday in the club's facilities in order to start the pre-season with the rest of his teammates.

"Through this statement, Atletico de Madrid wishes to express its strongest disapproval of the behaviour of both, especially FC Barcelona, for prompting the player to break his contractual relationship with Atletico de Madrid at a time of the season when the club was involved in the Champions League tie against Juventus, as well as the league title race against FC Barcelona, something that we believe violates the protected periods of negotiation with players and alters the basic rules of integrity in any sporting competition, as well as causing enormous damage to our club and its millions of fans."


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