- Griezmann linked with Barcelona move as he prepares for Atletico exit
- French international has €100m release clause in his contract
- Valverde not entirely convinced after poor start to this season
- READ MORE: Lionel Messi unimpressed with Barcelona target’s surprise transfer details
Speculation has been building over the future of Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, but a reported move to Barcelona may not be so simple after all.
The 26-year-old has been struggling for form so far this season, totalling just three goals and three assists in 14 appearances in all competitions.
That’s a far cry from his performances as recently as last season, during which he scored 26 goals and provided 12 assists in 53 outings as he continued to establish himself as Atleti’s talisman.
Whether or not transfer talk is adversely affecting his form is unclear, but Marca have noted that if an interested party wants to take the Frenchman away from the Wanda Metropolitano next summer, they’ll have to meet his €100m release clause.
Barcelona were said to be leading the race to land his signature at the end of the season as they look to further bolster Ernesto Valverde’s squad, but Barca are said to have reservations over a move for Griezmann, as per Don Balon, which is re-reported by The Express.
Naturally, there’s still plenty of time this season for that to change as Griezmann could yet find his best form and prove that he deserves a move to the Nou Camp as it’s difficult to believe that the dip in form has come because his head has been turned about a transfer elsewhere next summer.
However, this could arguably pile the pressure on now for him to prove that he can deal with it and step up when his team needs him.
Should he move to Barcelona, he’ll provide stiff competition for Luis Suarez, who is also having his troubles in front of goal this season. Following his brace against Leganes though, he’ll be hopeful that it can spark his old form and Griezmann may well be searching for a similar breakthrough of his own for Atleti’s sake, and for his own potential aspirations of playing for Barcelona.