Antoine Griezmann will officially play for Barcelona next season after the Blaugrana paid his 120 million euro release clause, which was deposited at LaLiga‘s headquarters. The forward has agreed to a five-year deal, keeping him at the club until 2024, and his release clause is 800m euros.
Finally, the soap opera surrounding Griezmann has come to an end. One year ago, he turned down Barcelona in order to stay at Atletico Madrid and have another attempt at winning the Champions League, which was being held at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, but the allure of Barcelona was always there for him.
The decision to sign the Frenchman is one that has had a mixed response from the Azulgrana‘s supporters, particularly after the way in which he announced his decision to stay at Atletico in ‘The Decision’.
As part of his contract renewal with Los Rojiblancos last summer, his release clause increased to 200m euros, however from July 1 it dropped down to 120m euros, almost as if Atletico were aware that they would only keep the forward for one more season.
Rather than pay the 120m euro fee in one lump sum, the Catalans tried to negotiate with Atletico, but they could not come to an agreement. Barcelonawere unwilling to part ways with Nelson Semedo, while Atletico were adamant that they would not accept the Blaugrana‘s offer of paying in instalments, even though they were willing to pay 130m euros in total. As such, Barcelona’s only option was to pay the 120m release clause.
Griezmann arrives at the Camp Nou with a plethora of experience in LaLiga Santander, the Champions League and at international level. He scored goals at both Real Sociedad and Atletico, mainly with the latter, as he averaged 20 goals per season. The 28-year-old has the quality to affect matches and that is an asset that Barcelona need, especially as they look to lighten the load on Lionel Messi‘s back.
In addition, Griezmann joins as a player that Ernesto Valverde has always wanted at the club. He asked Barcelona to get the deal done last summer, and one year later he has his man.