Griezmann looking for Atletico exit, Barcelona not considering deal - sources

Published on: 17 March 2019

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Antoine Griezmann has offered himself to a number of Europe's biggest clubs, including Barcelona, but the Catalan club are not contemplating a move for the Atletico Madrid forward, sources have told ESPN FC.

Griezmann, 28, turned down the chance to join Barca last summer but has grown increasingly frustrated at Atletico this season. Sources close to the France forward have said he is prepared to take a salary reduction and revealed he was even looking for an exit prior to last week's Champions League elimination against Juventus.


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But various sources close to Barcelona have confirmed to ESPN FC that Griezmann is not the type of attacker the club are looking for as they seek a long-term replacement for the 32-year-old Luis Suarez. They favour a younger option. Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic and Celta Vigo's Maxi Gomez have both been watched.

There would also be concerns about Griezmann's wages, even though he's prepared to take a cut. He earns €24 million at Atletico, an amount which Barca would not be prepared to match. Even if they were, it would require shifting several big earners off the wage bill.

Griezmann signed a new deal with Atletico last year, extending his stay at the club until 2023. The terms included an initial €200m release clause but that figure will drop to €120m this summer.

His desire to leave Atletico, first reported by L'Equipe on Saturday, comes just nine months after he snubbed Barca in the build-up to the World Cup. He made the announcement via a TV special which was produced by Gerard Pique's company. The show -- called "La Decision" -- did not go down well with the hierarchy at Barcelona at the time. Some members of the board only learned of the decision on the day it aired on television.

The France international has since come to regret his decision following what he feels has been a disappointing season at Atletico.

The Rojiblancos' season has come off the rails this month. Diego Simeone's side were knocked out of the Champions League by Juve and Saturday's defeat to Athletic Bilbao could see them fall 10 points behind top spot in La Liga if Barca beat Real Betis on Sunday.

Sam Marsden contributed to this report