Barcelona Announces Antoine Griezmann As Atlético Madrid Disputes Astronomical Fee

Is the transfer drama finally over? Of course not.

Barcelona activated Atlético Madrid’s release clause for Antoine Griezmann worth $135 million (€120 million) and signed him to a five-year contract with a release clause of $900 million, announcing the signing on Friday. The Griezmann transfer fee is the fourth-highest of all time behind only Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and João Felix, but Atlético thinks it should be higher.

Antoine Griezmann Transfer Fee To Barcelona

  • 2019 Antoine Griezmann Transfer Fee: $135 million (€120 million)
  • 2019 Antoine Griezmann Release Clause: $900 million (€800 million)

Antoine Griezmann Transfer Fee

This signing has been a long time coming, as Barcelona had been linked to Griezmann for the past three transfer windows, with Griezmann almost joining Barcelona last summer before the deal fell through at the last minute.

The French forward has been prolific at Atlético, netting 137 goals in 255 appearances with the club. He was also an integral member of the France’s 2018 World Cup-winning side, scoring a penalty in the final.

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The drama isn’t over though, as Atlético is disputing the transfer fee. The club feels Barcelona agreed on terms with Griezmann in March, four months before Griezmann’s release clause reduced from $225 million to $135 million, and are therefore entitled to the other $90 million from the earlier clause.

Barcelona claims that he didn’t sign any pre-contract agreement at that time, and since nothing has been signed, they shouldn’t have to pay the additional fees. Griezmann’s former club Real Sociedad is set to receive $27 million for the transfer, as it included a 20 percent sell-on clause when he was signed by Atlético in 2014.

In terms of where Griezmann will play on the pitch, it really depends on whether or not Barcelona manages to sign Neymar.

If Neymar is signed, Griezmann will likely play center forward, with Neymar and Messi on the left and right wing, respectively. However, if the Neymar deal doesn’t go through, it will be contingent on whether Ernesto Valverde intends to start Luis Suarez or Ousmane Dembele next season. If Suarez starts then Griezmann will play on the left wing. If Dembele starts, Griezmann will play center forward.

Delving further into the Neymar speculation, with Griezmann now signed, Barcelona will likely have to offload a high-value player to fund Neymar’s transfer back to the Camp Nou. It seems the most likely sale would be Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who would either be sold to a club with cash to burn like Manchester United or included in the Neymar deal with PSG. The Antoine Griezmann transfer fee equaled the fee Barcelona paid to Liverpool for Coutinho as the fourth-highest of all time. 

Regardless, it looks as though Barcelona is making a big push for the Champions League title this season, having come up short four years in a row.

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