According to Sky Sports sources, Barcelona are set to activate the £108million release clause in the contract of Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. The forward has already revealed that he will leave the club from the Spanish capital after a five-year stint. It seems that he will finally join Barcelona this summer.
Griezmann move to Barcelona almost inevitable
Last summer, Antoine Griezmann looked set to join the Catalan giants. However, instead, the French star decided to sign a new deal with Atletico. The move seemed a strange one on the part of the forward. It was a great act of loyalty to his club, though.
The previous summer, Griezmann had also been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp. It seems that the link just will not go away and Barcelona signing Griezmann is now inevitable.
Noises coming from Spain suggest that Premier League runners-up Liverpool are also interested in signing the forward. It seems unlikely at this stage that the Reds will be signing the diminutive star, though.
Griezmann is ambitious
At 28 years of age, Griezmann is probably in his peak years as a forward. He has maintained a prolific scoring record for Atletico Madrid in recent years and Los Rojiblancos have rustled a few feathers in the Spanish game during his time in the capital.
However, Atletico will always be in the shadow of their city rivals Real Madrid and of course Barcelona. The Catalan giants are already favourites to win La Liga once again next season. Boss Diego Simeone has helped the team punch above their weight in recent years, but they just cannot quite get to the same level as they were in 2014, when they won La Liga.
It will be difficult for them ever to get to that sort of level again. Griezmann joined Simeone’s team the season after that league title triumph.
The French international has talked about his ambitions to win the big trophies in the club game. Despite their rather lame Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Liverpool, the Catalan giants would offer the striker a better chance of winning both La Liga and the Champions League.
The striker obviously has big affection for Atletico Madrid. At 28, though, maybe he feels he needs to move while he still has time to win the big trophies. No doubt he is a hero and a vital part of the Atletico Madrid.
A move to Barcelona would make him a smaller fish in a much bigger pond, but as professional moves go it seems a good one, as the Catalan giants have chased the Frenchman for a good while, so are unlikely to sign him as a bit-part player.
Griezmann a possible replacement for Coutinho
Despite retaining their La Liga crown this season, Barcelona are looking to revamp their squad this summer. The signing of Griezmann would be a good start to strengthening their attacking options.
Reportedly, the Blaugrana are prepared to part with Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho this summer. The attacking midfielder has enjoyed a lukewarm career in Catalonia after a big-money move from Liverpool in the winter transfer window of 2018.
Griezmann could prove a more than adequate replacement for the former Liverpool star and likely to be far more productive than Coutinho has been at Barcelona.
A front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann is enough to send a chill down the spine of any defence in club football. It seems that is now a reality in the near future for Barcelona.
Will Antoine Griezmann be playing his football at the Nou Camp next season?