Barcelona appear to be closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, who is keen for his future to be decided before the start of the World Cup in June.
A report from Marca claims that Grizmann has not responded to the offer of a new contract from Atletico that had a deadline of April 30. It suggests a ‘breakdown in talks’ between the player and the club and seems to point to a likely exit.
Barcelona have been expected to seal the signing for some time, with a report from Mundo Deportivo (MD) now noting that representatives of the Catalan club have met with Griezmann and his advisers to sort out the details of a summer arrival at Camp Nou.
It has long been understood that Barça would have to trigger a €100m buyout clause. Of that €100m, MD states that €20m would go to first club Real Sociedad for developing the player.
It is also said that Barça talked about a five-year contract for Griezmann when they met.
If the proposed transfer is to be concluded before the 27-year-old’s self imposed deadline, things will have to move quickly over the coming weeks.
France duty will start as early as May 28, as Les Bleus have a World Cup warm up friendly against Republic of Ireland at the Stade de France. There will then be two further games against Italy and USA before France’s World Cup campaign begins against Australia on June 16.
For Griezmann, the club season will finish on May 20 when Atletico play their final La Liga fixture. Whether Atletico reach the Europa League final – the semi final second leg against Arsenal week will determine it – will not affect that as it is scheduled for May .
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