The Antoine Griezmann saga has taken a different turn in recent hours as Atletico Madrid have apparently changed their stance on the Frenchman and their willingness to let him go this summer, at least to Barcelona.
Los Rojiblancos have released a statement condemning Barcelona's pursuit of Antoine Griezmann, suggesting the Blaugrana had spoken to the player without permission to do so. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently stated that the two teams met for the first time on Thursday to try to make a deal, but Atletico have now claimed Bartomeu's statement is a lie.
“Yesterday there was a meeting between Oscar Grau and Miguel Angel Gil and they talked about the (Griezmann) subject. I cannot say any more,” Bartomeu claimed during his latest press conference.
Atletico issued a statement on their official website explaining how they found out about the negotiations between the Blaugrana and the forward, stating that the talks started in February and both parties reached an agreement in March.
As expected, they didn’t hesitate to show their discontent with Bartomeu’s statements.
"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 €200m to €120m, to ask for a deferred payment of the aforementioned amount of the clause in force as from July 1.”
"Atletico 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.”
And, on top of that, Atletico ‘instructed’ the Frenchman to join his teammates as pre-season starts this Sunday.
"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.”
Now things have taken a different dimension with the latest events on this matter. What are Barcelona going to do? Will Atletico change their stance on this subject? One of the biggest stories of the summer has gotten even bigger now.