Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has insisted that star man Antoine Griezmann will remain at the club despite speculation of a move to Barcelona.
The 28-year-old has been in fine form again this season, scoring 18 goals and providing nine assists in 40 appearances across all competitions.
However, that hasn’t ensured Atleti remain in the hunt for major honours this season, as the only trophy they can still target is the La Liga title, but they trail leaders Barcelona by 10 points with just nine games to go.
In turn, it will surely be a huge disappointment for all concerned if they do end up empty-handed, but Cerezo has insisted that it will have no impact whatsoever on their plan to keep their talisman at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“Griezmann remains safe, Antoine will not move,” he is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo. “Antoine remains at Atleti, for sure.”
However, there is a catch. It’s added in that report that the French international’s release clause in his current contract will drop to €120m this summer.
Should Barcelona exercise that clause, it would seemingly make Cerezo’s stance irrelevant as their rivals would then be able to discuss terms with Griezmann and take a step closer to making a switch to the Nou Camp happen.
It remains to be seen though if they are even willing to splash out that much on a new striker, and if they even have the finances to do so given that they’re already set to spend €75m+ on Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong this summer, as per BBC Sport.
What is clear is that Luis Suarez isn’t getting any younger and they certainly do need to add quality depth up front and a long-term replacement for the Uruguayan stalwart.
That in turn would make the signing of Griezmann a sensible one, but time will tell if they are prepared to bring that release clause into effect.