LaLiga: Barcelona to activate Griezmann's release clause

Lionel Messi

Atletico Madrid release a public statement chastising Barcelona's "lack of respect" during their pursuit of striker Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann, Atletico's prized asset, has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp in the summer with reports in Spain suggesting Barcelona are prepared to pay the forward's £88million release clause.

Now Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed talks with the France international's agent did, in fact, take place earlier this season.

Barca have always been linked to a blockbuster move for France worldwide Griezmann and Atleti reported them to Federation Internationale de Football Association for an alleged illegal approach last December.

"We're fed up with Barcelona's attitude".

"I don't know how relevant it is that Bartomeu spoke with the Atleti president", the Barca boss said.

Atletico face Marseille in the Europa League final in Lyon on May 16 after beating Arsene Wenger's Arsenal 2-1 in the semi-final. A few months ago, I personally expressed to Barcelona's president that our player isn't for sale nor are we going to sell him.

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He added he had warned Bartomeu that Atletico would demand compensation for Barcelona's "inappropriate behaviour" if Griezmann sought to cancel his contract under pressure from the Catalan side. "We need to keep working on that aspect to get to finals".

"Enough is enough. I hope this statement serves its objective and that us Atletico fans can enjoy this moment and prepare ourselves for a final like we should".

Griezmann was initially linked with Barca previous year as a possible replacement for Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee of €222 million.

"It makes the club proud to bring players of this quality like Antoine, like [Ousmane] Dembele and [Philippe] Coutinho came", Suarez told Radio Rincon.

Cerezo was full of praise for the player who began his career with the club, confirming that he will be given a special send off in the game against Eibar on 19 May.

Griezmann has indicated he wants his future decided before this summer's World Cup after Barcelona was forced to deny in January it had already agreed a deal to sign the Frenchman. He's a great player, that's clear.

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