Atletico Madrid have released an official statement denying that Barcelona have signed Antoine Griezmann and stating their intention to open legal proceedings regarding the move.
The France international signed for the Blaugrana on Friday, July 12, with the Spanish side having paid the striker’s €120 million release clause.
However, Atletico have taken issue despite said clause being met in full, pointing to negotiations – and an agreement – between the player and the club taking place when Griezmann’s buyout clause was still €200m.
Posted on Atletico Madrid’s official website, the statement reads:
“Antoine Griezmann, represented by his lawyer, appeared at the headquarters of Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) to terminate the contract that bound the player to Atletico Madrid, with Barcelona having deposited the amount of €120 million on behalf of the player.
“Atletico Madrid believes that the amount deposited to meet the termination clause is insufficient, since it is obvious that the agreement between the player and Barcelona was reached before the aforementioned clause was reduced from 200 to 120 million euros.
“It was also prior to the date on which the clause was modified that the player announced that he would be leaving the club (May 14).
“Atletico 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 we have already started the procedures we consider appropriate for the legitimate defence of our rights and interests.”
Atleti recently slammed both Barcelona and the player himself, questioning their conduct after it was revealed that the two parties had been in talks and reached an agreement while Diego Simeone’s team were still fighting for the league and the Champions League.
Atletico claim they were only informed by Griezmann that he wanted an exit at the end of the campaign in May – a move that further frustrated the Spanish side.
The player had also delayed making public his intention to stay in a televised announcement the season before.