FC Barcelona is planning to sue Atletico Madrid and demand a sum of €40 million from the club for Antoine Griezmann, as per a report by ESPN. Griezmann returned back to Atletico on a two-year loan deal in 2021, but now, both the clubs are at loggerheads regarding a clause which would make the deal permanent.
Sources close to FC Barcelona say that Griezmann was on the field for over 45 minutes in 30 of the 37 games he played last season and hence Atletico must sign him for €40m. Whereas, Atletico Madrid claims that the Frenchman must play over 45 minutes in 50% of the games he is selected for over two seasons, not just one, for the clause to come into effect.
Therefore, Madrid has used Griezmann as a substitute in the second half of the games this season, where he was seen on the field at the 62nd, 62nd, 64th, 63rd and 61st-minute mark in their five fixtures. According to sources, Barcelona’s legal team have gone through the contract and is convinced that they are right, but Atletico’s interpretation of the clause differs.
An Atletico spokesperson expressed that the club hasn’t received any official communication from the Catalans. “It is what it is,” said Griezmann while speaking to the press after Atletico Madrid’s victory in the Champions League game against Porto on Wednesday.
“It’s not in my hands. I want to [play] more, but I will give everything in the minutes I am given. I am happy to be here, the only thing I want is to give everything for this club, for Cholo [coach Diego Simeone] and the fans”, he said.
Similarly, when asked to comment on the situation in the press conference on Friday, Barcelona manager Xavi said, “It’s not to do with me, it’s an issue between the two clubs. It’s not something I have been involved in. The two clubs have to speak. But there is no debate here, we think he is an Atletico Madrid player.”
In a major development, it is now being reported that Barcelona is not willing to take Griezmann back because of his whopping salary of over €20m which could take a big share of their LaLiga spending limit. Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico for a fee of around €100m in 2019.