Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marin has angrily shot down rumours of Antoine Griezmann’s summer move to Barcelona, calling out La Liga winners over an ‘absolute lack of respect’ in their public courtship of the French forward.
Recent reports have claimed that Barcelona are on the verge of completing a €100m move for Griezmann, while Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu has not been shy in speaking on the record about the man who was voted third in the 2016 Ballon d’Or. Meanwhile Luis Suarez, has also claimed that Griezmann would be ‘welcome’ at Camp Nou.
While the forward himself has previously stated that he would confirm his future before the World Cup, Marin has been angered by Bartomeu and Barcelona’s unsettling campaign in the run up to Atleti’s Europa League final.
“We’re fed up with Barcelona’s attitude,” Gil Marin said in an official statement on the club’s website, reminiscent to one Liverpool put out during Barça’s all too public pursuit of Philippe Coutinho.
“That a president and a player speak the way they’ve done about the future of a player with an existing contract – and just a few days before disputing a European final – shows an absolute lack of respect towards Atletico Madrid and the club’s fans.
“Atletico’s stance is very clear and has been made public on numerous occasions. Not once have we negotiated for Griezmann, nor do we have any intention to do so. A few months ago, I personally expressed to [Bartomeu] that our player isn’t for sale nor are we going to sell him.
Gil Marin also suggested he may take action over the perceived ‘inappropriate’ approach.
“At the same time, I let him know that his inappropriate conduct was against the integrity of the competition, especially since we’ve been competing for the league title throughout the season and Barcelona have been continuously pressuring one of the most important players.”
“I also told [Bartomeu] that in the chance the player exercises his right to nullify his contract due to their pressure throughout the season, that Atletico Madrid would demand Barcelona compensation for their inappropriate behaviour.
“Enough is enough. I hope this statement serves its purpose and that us Atletico fans can enjoy this moment and prepare ourselves for a final like we should.”
In addition to Marin’s powerful words, Atleti president Enrique Cerezo told Marca: Antoine Griezmann is a player of Atlético…full stop.
“We will do everything possible to keep him with us, but not just Griezmann, [Jan] Oblak, everyone.”