Atletico Madrid have issued a strongly worded statement suggesting Barcelona have not paid the full amount required to complete a deal for striker Antoine Griezmann, after the Catalan giants confirmed they have paid his €120m release clause to sign the French World Cup winner.
After months of speculation and confirmation from Griezmann that he had decided to leave Atletico earlier this summer, his move to Barcelona was confirmed on Friday, but a legal wrangle may now begin between the two clubs.
Barcelona parted with €120m to sign the France international after July 1, when his €200m contract release clause was slashed by a staggering €80m.
Atletico Madrid have released a statement demanding Barca pay the full €200m for Griezmann.
They believe the player agreed terms with the Catalan club BEFORE the release clause dropped to €120m & therefore they owe another €80m.
Just when you thought all the drama was over! pic.twitter.com/JZmxGVUij7
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) July 12, 2019
But Atletico claim Barcelona and Griezmann reached a deal before this date, and that they are subsequently owed the amount of his original release clause.
Atletico Madrid posted a brief statement to social media shortly after Barcelona confirmed the signing of Griezmann on a five-year deal.
Official statement regarding the unilateral termination of the contract that links Antoine Griezmann with our club https://t.co/3V2p51Pmut
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) July 12, 2019
They stated that: “Official statement regarding the unilateral termination of the contract that links Antoine Griezmann with our club
Antoine Griezmann, represented by his lawyer, has appeared at the headquarters of the Professional Football League to unilaterally terminate the contract that links the player with Atlético de Madrid, with Fútbol Club Barcelona having deposited the sum of 120 million euros in the name and on behalf of the footballer.
Atlético de Madrid considers that the deposited amount is insufficient to cover his buyout clause, since it is obvious that the agreement between the player and FC Barcelona was closed before the clause was reduced from EUR 200 million to EUR 120 million. It was also prior to the date on which the clause was modified the communication that the player made on 14 May announcing his disassociation from the club.
Atlético de Madrid believes that the termination of the contract happened before the end of the last season due to facts, acts and demonstrations made by the player, and therefore has already initiated the procedures it has deemed appropriate to protect their rights and lawful interests”.