Barcelona preparing to seal €100m marquee signing, earliest date of completion revealed by Spanish football expert

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Barcelona have long been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, and Guillem Balague has suggested that they’re preparing at their end to make it official.

The Catalan giants have won the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey this season, and so coach Ernesto Valverde would arguably be well advised to avoid too many changes this summer in order to prevent the balance in the side being disrupted.

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With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal for next season already, it’s questionable where a new attacking signing would fit in anyway.

However, that hasn’t stopped speculation over Griezmann arriving at the Nou Camp this summer, with Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague revealing that Barcelona are doing all the groundwork already so that they can complete a move for the French international as early as July 1.

“I can tell you that Barcelona are convinced he will join them,” he said in his Sky Sports Q&A. “They have gone over all the legal and financial details to ensure that as soon as Griezmann gives the green light everything is sorted.

“The earliest the move will happen is July 1. Barca will play the €100m buy-out clause before it doubles.”

As noted by Marca, the Atleti star’s release clause in his contract will be €100m for a period this summer, and so provided that fee is met and if Griezmann signs off on a move to Barcelona, it could all be wrapped up this summer.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed another stellar campaign in the Spanish capital, scoring 27 goals and providing 14 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

He’ll have a chance to secure second place in the La Liga table and seal a trophy with the Europa League with Atleti before the season is over too, but speculation over his future continues to dominate headlines.

As for Valverde, whether he’ll have to find a way to fit them all into his starting line-up or rotate and keep everyone happy, should Barcelona complete a move for Griezmann this summer, he will certainly have his hands full but with plenty of quality at his disposal.

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