- Balague believes Atletico Madrid are preparing for Griezmann to leave
- €100m release clause will be in place amid Barcelona speculation
- Frenchman has struggled this season, pointing way for exit
- READ MORE: Lionel Messi urges Barcelona to seal transfer of Chelsea star after Real Madrid development
It’s fair to say that Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann isn’t having the best of seasons so far, and that is resulting in transfer talk building.
The 26-year-old has managed just three goals and three assists in 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season, a far cry from the type of influence he has had for Diego Simeone’s side in recent campaigns.
Whether that’s an issue with the system not getting the best out of his qualities anymore or the fact that perhaps his head has been turned amid ongoing transfer speculation, with The Express reporting that a deal has been agreed with Barcelona, is unclear.
Either way, or perhaps even a combination of both, have led to a disappointing return so far this season, and Spanish football expert and Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes that Atleti and Griezmann will split at the end of this season with Barcelona and Man Utd likely to be monitoring the situation amongst others.
“There was an increase in his buyout clause which is €200m until July 1, but will then revert back to €100m,” he told Sky Sports.
“The club, I know, feel that he will leave in the summer, with United and Barcelona favourites to sign him, while Real may consider him too. Nothing has been signed at the moment with anybody, I’m told, but the club feel he will leave.”
Doubts could be raised over how Barcelona would facilitate him with an attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi already at coach Ernesto Valverde’s disposal.
It’s a little less crowded at Old Trafford with Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic vying for the spot to lead the line, with the latter edging ever closer to the end of his career.
In turn, perhaps something will have to budge at Barcelona for Griezmann to arrive at the Nou Camp, but based on Balague’s comments above, the expectation from Atleti at least is that they’ll be around €100m better off but a world-class player down next summer.