Barcelona could reportedly submit a bid to meet Antoine Griezmann’s €120m release clause by the end of this week as they close in on a swoop.
The 28-year-old officially communicated his decision to leave Atletico Madrid this summer in a post on the club’s social media channels last month, ending a brilliant spell with Diego Simeone’s side.
Griezmann has bagged 133 goals and 50 assists in 257 appearances for the club since joining them from Real Sociedad in 2014, while he’s won a handful of trophies too.
However, as per Sport, he could be edging ever closer to a move to Barcelona this summer, as it’s claimed that the Catalan giants will launch a bid to meet his €120m release clause by either Thursday or Friday this week.
It’s noted that the reason behind the touted timeline is to avoid relations between the two clubs souring further if the transfer saga continues to drag on, as well as the fact that the Barcelona squad return for pre-season training on July 14.
In an ideal world, coach Ernesto Valverde will want all of his new signings available from the first day, in order to give them as much time as possible to acclimatise and adjust to the demands at the Nou Camp.
In turn, time will tell if a bid is made before the end of the working week to activate Griezmann’s release clause, at which point only an agreement on personal terms will stand in the way of a move to Atleti’s domestic rivals ahead of the new campaign.
Should it materialise though, it will naturally lead to questions over how Griezmann will fit into Valverde’s starting line-up, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez likely to continue to be two of the first names on the team-sheet while the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Malcom will battle it out for a place alongside them.