You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Remarkable Antoine Griezmann plan is paying off as Barcelona face missing £50m payment

Mirror 30/08/2022 Colin Millar

Barcelona are becoming increasingly concerned by Atletico Madrid's approach to Antoine Griezmann that could cost the Catalan club up to £50million.

The French international has come on as a substitute in all three of Atleti’s league matches so far in the 62nd minute onwards, while the club’s compulsory option to buy the forward from the Catalan giants kicks in at the end of this campaign based on the percentage of matches in which he plays 30 minutes or more, not including injury time.

Diego Simeone is a huge advocate of Griezmann and was the decisive factor in the club’s controversial decision to re-sign the forward a year ago from Barcelona on a two-year long loan arrangement, which would become compulsory at the end of that spell for €40million (£34m).

Griezmann left Atleti in contentious circumstances in 2019, joining La Liga rivals Barcelona when his release clause in the Spanish capital was triggered. The forward had netted 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atleti during his first spell, before scoring 35 times across two seasons at the Camp Nou.

Los Rojiblancos are in financial difficulties and the club’s hierarchy had attempted to persuade Simeone to allow Griezmann to leave the club – halfway through his loan spell – this summer. The Argentine eventually prevailed and kept the Frenchman in his squad after a compromise was reached.

Atleti’s £40m option to sign Griezmann permanently at the end of this campaign is based on whether he plays 30 minutes or more in upwards of 80 per cent of the matches in which he is available for selection across his loan spell. As things stand, he is featuring for less than half-an-hour in each of the club’s three league matches to date – coming on in the 62nd, 62nd and 65th minutes respectively.

Have Your Say! Is Atletico Madrid’s treatment of Griezmann unfair ? Tell us what you think here.

Griezmann netted the only goal of the game as Atletico won at Valencia on Monday © Ivan Terron/Europa Press via Getty Images Griezmann netted the only goal of the game as Atletico won at Valencia on Monday

He was introduced in Monday night’s La Liga clash against Valencia at the Mestalla with 25 minutes remaining and scored the only goal of the game, with his deflected effort securing a 1-0 victory for Simeone’s side.

So, as things stand, the trajectory means that Griezmann will remain at Los Rojiblancos this season but may be overwhelmingly used as a substitute with less than 30 minutes remaining in matches. He would then return to Barca at the end of the season, with the club missing out on the £40million payment and an additional £10million due to be stumped up to the player for the final year of his contract at Camp Nou.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon