Atletico Madrid Protest Antoine Griezmann Transfer Due to Insufficient Payment
Atletico Madrid are protesting superstar striker Antoine Griezmann's transfer to Barcelona on the grounds of insufficient payment.
According to Robbie Dunne of AS, Atletico Madrid released the following statement on the matter:
"The amount deposited is insufficient to pay his release clause because it's obvious that the agreement between the club and Barcelona was done before his fee dropped from €200 to €120 million.
"Atletico Madrid understand that the contract was broken before the end of last season, on the basis of the facts, actions and statements of the player and the club has therefore started the proceedings it considers opportune to defend its legitimate rights and interests.
"Atletico are disgusted by the behavior of Barcelona and the player and particularly Barcelona, for inducing a player to break their contractual relationship with Atletico Madrid at a time in the season when the club was playing, not just a Champions League tie against Juventus, but also the League title against Barcelona itself."
Barcelona introduced Griezmann as the club's newest player Friday, but Atletico believe that the transfer agreement was completed before July 1, which is the date that saw Griezmann's buyout clause drop from €200 to €120 million.
Griezmann's lawyers reportedly deposited €120 million into La Liga's headquarters Friday.
Things have been contentious between Atletico and Barcelona throughout Griezmann's transfer saga because of accusations that Barca tampered with the French forward.
Per Gulf News, Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club did not begin speaking to Griezmann until July, but Atletico have disputed that, saying that Griezmann and Barcelona began speaking in February and agreed to a contract in March despite that fact that Atletico were in the midst of UEFA Champions League and La Liga title pursuits.
Griezmann joined Atletico Madrid in 2014 after five seasons with Real Sociedad. It was with Atletico that he blossomed into one of the best attacking players in the world.
The 28-year-old scored at least 21 goals across all competitions in each of his five campaigns with Atletico, including a career-high 32 in 2015-16. Griezmann also has 29 goals in 72 appearances for France, and he helped them to a World Cup victory in 2018.
As a member of Barcelona, Griezmann will join forces with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and look to form one of the most dangerous attacking trios in the sport.