Atletico Madrid’s football star Antoine Griezmann, could be signed on Friday by Barcelona FC.
A report in French sports paper L’Equipe claimed the clause had been paid by Barca on Thursday evening, but Standard Sport understands the Catalan club plan to make the transaction on Friday.
Atletico were unhappy at Barca’s proposal to pay the fee in instalments and the Rojiblancos released a statement last Friday in which they conveyed their “strong disapproval” at both the Catalan club and also their own player, telling the 28-year-old he was expected at pre-season training on Sunday.
Griezmann, who is away in Ibiza, believes he is entitled to 30 days holiday in any case and the French forward is waiting for the call from his representatives to tell him the move has been completed.
One of the player’s lawyers will make the payment of his clause, which dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1st, at La Liga’s offices in Madrid. No representatives from Barca are expected to be present, but the full €120m will be transferred after Atleti’s insistence that the fee be paid up front.
An article in AS earlier in the week claimed Barca were having problems finding the funds to pay the clause and also said that wages had been paid three days late, although that report remains unsubstantiated.
Barca do have concerns over their wage structure, which accounts for 64 per cent of the club’s total income, but they have now seemingly set aside the funds for Griezmann.
If the transfer is completed on Friday, the French forward could be presented at Camp Nou on Sunday, although his unveiling might have to take place behind closed doors as work on a new pitch continues at the stadium.
In the event of any last-minute problems on Friday, Barca will wait until Monday to complete the deal, but would rather have the transfer done by then because that is the day the club starts pre-season training. Medical tests for the players will take place on Sunday.
Griezmann, who is 28 years old and scored 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atletico, is expected to sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club.
Source: Evening Standard