Atletico Claim Illegal Approach
Atletico Madrid have reported Barcelona to Fifa over an alleged illegal approach for Antoine Griezmann.
The France international has been increasingly linked with a move to Barca next summer. Reports at the weekend even claimed that members of his family met recently with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
But Atletico are unhappy about the meeting – which took place with Griezmann’s parents. His affairs are currently being looked after by members of his family with his sister acting as his agent.
Atletico are claiming that Barca’s interest in Griezmann is putting at risk “the integrity of the La Liga competition” the club have said in their official complaint to Fifa. They currently lie in second place at present some six points behind leaders Barcelona.
According to reports in the Spanish press on Tuesday, Barcelona have asked Atletico on a number of occasions for permission to approach Griezmann. That permission was denied. However, Barca went ahead anyway and had meetings with members of his family.
On Sunday, Barcelona’s Head Of Institutional And Sporting Relations, Guillermo Amor refused to categorically deny that those meetings had taken place. “Has Bartomeu has met with his family? If that is what the newspaper says, it is possible that it is so,” he told the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo. “It may be that there has been some approach, although I do not know.”
Griezmann was the subject of interest from Barcelona last summer. However, he had already signed a new contract with Atletico that saw his release fee increase from €100million (£88million) to €200million (£176million). The clause reverts back to €100million from the end of the current Spanish season before reverting back again to €200million from 1 July 2018.
Griezmann was the subject of interest from Manchester United for much of last season. However, their interest seems to have been brought to an end with the confirmation of Barcelona’s approach.