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Atletico dispute ‘insufficient’ Griezmann fee after Barcelona confirm signing

Atletico dispute ‘insufficient’ Griezmann fee after Barcelona confirm signing

12/07/2019 at 16:30Updated 12/07/2019 at 16:41

Atletico Madrid have claimed the amount Barcelona paid for striker Antoine Griezmann is “insufficient”.

Barcelona confirmed the Frenchman's signature on Friday after meeting the player’s €120m release clause.

However, Atletico claim the amount is not enough as it is “obvious” Barca struck a deal with the forward before his release clause dropped from €200m.

Griezmann’s release clause fell on July 1, but Atleti pointed towards the player’s confirmation he would leave the club on May 14 in a statement released shortly after Barcelona announced the move.

A club statement read: “Atletico de Madrid believes that the amount deposited is insufficient since it is obvious an agreement between the player and FC Barcelona was reached before the clause was reduced from 200 to 120 million euros. It was also prior to the date on which the clause was modified, with the player announcing his departure from the club on May 14.

“Atlético de Madrid believes that the termination of the contract occurred before the end of last season due to events, acts and demonstrations carried out by the player and that is why he has already started the procedures it considers appropriate for the defense of its legitimate rights and interests.”

Griezmann put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Camp Nou, and has a new release clause of €800 million.

Barcelona have had a busy summer of spending, having already brought Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong to the club for a reported €75 million.

Griezmann has spent his entire professional career in Spain. Having cut his teeth with Real Sociedad, he moved to Atletico in 2014 and won the Europa League with Diego Simone's side in 2017-18.

Barca have long been admirers of the World Cup winner. Pep Guardiola was rumoured to be an admirer and attempted to bring him to the club as a youth player, while Griezmann turned down the Catalans last summer, signing a new contract with the clause that Barca have now exercised.

Griezmann has twice finished third in the Ballon d'Or standings.