Barcelona Make Gentleman's Agreement With Atletico Regarding Antoine Griezmann
Barcelona are set to sell one of their most prized assets in Brazilian star Neymar for the sensational world-record sum of £222m this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain eagerly awaiting the attacker's signature.
The Catalan side were reported to have set their sights on Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann as a replacement, but according to Diario AS, Atleti have been assured that they will not be undermined by Barca, at least not during this window.
The Spanish publication claims that Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu placed a phone call to Atleti CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin on Tuesday night to enquire about Griezmann. But by the end of said call, Gli Marin was told that the former La Liga champions would not put the Rojiblancos' position under threat.
Gli Marin also reminded Bartomeu of the club's transfer ban, adding that Atleti would be unable to replace Griezmann if he was sold this summer, as they aren't allowed to register new players until January.
The pair were said to have made a gentleman's agreement stipulating that Barca will not lodge any bids for the French forward during this transfer window.
The two clubs share an amicable relationship, and Bartomeu's gesture was well received in Madrid. Other clubs, though, haven't shown such an understanding, something which forced the Madrid side to insert a £200m release clause in Griezmann's new contract.
The clause will only continue to be in effect during the span of the current window, however, as a means to protect Athleti. Next year, it will be cut in half, leaving Griezmann to decide on whether or not he wants to leave.