Antoine Griezmann is once again being linked with a move away from Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window. The Frenchman, who was chased by Premier League giants Manchester United over the summer, decided against the switch and signed a new contract at Atletico, after their transfer ban was upheld by FIFA.
The player’s release clause was set at €200m for the summer, and reports stated earlier that it was halved to €100m following the conclusion of the window. With the market seeing over the top deals being done, Griezmann’s new clause could tempt suitors, given the sum is relatively within reach.
Atletico will not look to sell their star player in January by any means, but it is expected that clubs will try to tempt the forward to make a move away from the Spanish capital. After reports claiming that rivals Barcelona are keen to get the Frenchman, it is now considered a tough stance for the Catalan giants.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Ernesto Valverde’s side will find it very difficult, as they are not entitled to activate his €100m release clause in the present scenario. Instead, they will have to pay the original €200m release clause until July 2018. As complicated as that may seem, it is a possible factor that Griezmann could be on his way out next summer.
The player has scored 83 goals in 161 matches for Simeone’s side, and the club considers him highly important. With the manager extending his stay, the Argentine will be hoping that his star player snubs potential suitors and sees out his contract instead.
Griezmann was on the verge of leaving the club earlier this summer, but went on to say that it would be wrong of him to force an exit in the wake of the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the transfer ban imposed.
The 26-year-old has been one of Europe’s most coveted players in recent years, after shining for Diego Simeone’s side. His versatility, mixed with a gift of composure and vision, has several top clubs in Europe wanting to secure his services. January window will be an interesting period, but in reality, it is highly likely that next summer would rather be a feasible one.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.