Atletico Madrid Stands Firm on Antoine Griezmann's Release Clause as Barcelona Looms

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Wednesday August 2nd, 2017

Atletico Madrid are not willing to reduce the release clause of star forward Antoine Griezmann amid interest from Barcelona, Marca have reported.

The club are reportedly not prepared to lower the Frenchman's €200m release fee, which is only applicable for this summer, because of the FIFA imposed transfer ban that would prevent them bringing in a suitable replacement until January.

With Neymar set for a dramatic exit at Camp Nou, Barcelona are exploring the market for a replacement and Griezmann is among the list of high-profile targets.

Barça are aware of the complexities of any potential transfer with Atletico, but are believed to be confident of tempting the player and club with a substantial offer.

According to Marca, Griezmann "must do his part if Barcelona are to sign him this summer", although he has previously professed his desire to stay at Atletico for the upcoming season - following Manchester United's interest earlier in the summer.

The 26-year-old signed a new deal with Los Rojiblancos last month, firmly ending speculation linking him with a move to Old Trafford. 

That deal included the introduction of a €200m release clause, intended to prevent him from leaving the club in this transfer window. It will return to €100m next summer, but Barcelona are hopeful a deal can be struck before then.

Barcelona, who are also linked with Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, have reportedly directly enquired over Griezmann's availability, and (at least according to Marca) are prepared to make an offer over €100m.

Atletico, however, are reportedly not willing to discuss a deal for their star player and have dismissed the possibility of his sale.

Griezmann, who scored 16 goals in La Liga last season, has according to the report been in contact with Barcelona and has been assured that he would be a key part of the iconic club's attack following Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain.

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